South Dakota Retirement

South Dakota offers retirees a low cost of living and a laid back rural lifestyle. Parts of the state, including the Black Hills, have spectacular scenery and lots of outdoor recreation opportunities.

In addition to a low cost of living South Dakota has no income tax. This makes South Dakota one of the cheapest states to live in. Therefore it might be a good destination for retirees with limited incomes. It also has a low rate of unemployment, so retirees should be able to find work if they want it.

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South Dakota Cost of Living

The cost of living in Sioux Falls in the eastern part of the state was 12.6% below the US national average. Utilities costs in Sioux Falls were even lower. Utility service in Sioux Falls cost 17% less than the national average in 2011. Real estate costs were a little high in Sioux Falls – the average house in the city cost $139,000 in 2011. Housing costs in rural areas and the state's smaller towns were quite a bit less.

Some costs will be higher in South Dakota. Residents will have to drive farther to reach services and urban amenities including airports and hospitals. Gasoline costs in South Dakota were about 30 cents below the national average in 2011. The state seemed to have some of the cheapest fuel in the US.

Heating costs are high in South Dakota because the state is located on the Great Plains, which get very cold in the winter. Heating costs for those living outside urban areas could be significantly higher due to reliance on propane over natural gas. Propane costs two to three times as much as natural gas.

South Dakota Sales Tax

The state sales tax rate in South Dakota is 4% and this tax applies to both goods and services. That means services including lawn care, legal fees, and repair work is taxed in South Dakota. City, town, and tribal governments in South Dakota can charge an additional tax of 1% to 2%.

All food is subject to the state sales tax in South Dakota but unprepared food is exempt from the local or municipal sales tax. This means you would pay the 4% on groceries but you would not pay the city sales tax. You would pay both the city and state sales tax if you bought a meal from a restaurant.

Most medical care and prescription drugs are exempt from the state and local sales taxes in South Dakota. Nonprescription drugs are subject to the 4% state sales tax and city taxes. Any medical device prescribed by a doctor is exempt from the sales tax.

The fuel tax in South Dakota is 22% per gallon. This applies to both diesel fuel and gasoline.

South Dakota Property Taxes

Residential property taxes in South Dakota are assessed and collected by county governments. Property owners will have to contact their county treasurers' office to see what the property tax rate will be. Some property tax reductions are available in South Dakota homeowners will have to check with the county treasurer to learn about these.

There are no property taxes on vehicles in South Dakota but the state charges a 3% excise tax on vehicle purchases. There is also a $5 vehicle title fee.

Capital: Pierre
Cost of Living Rank: #26
Sales Tax: 4.0%
Income Tax: 0%
State Website: