State ends year with good financial news

State ends year with good financial news South Dakota state government ended fiscal year 2000 on June 30 with good news for taxpayers. There was sufficient money left for Gov. Bill Janklow to transfer $1,675,682 to the state's budget reserve, bringing the reserve to its maximum 5 percent allowed under state law.

The budget reserve now has a balance of $38,226,604. That account was last tapped in 1994 to help temporarily fund state programs during the shutdown of video lottery that year.

"A 5 percent reserve really isn't very much. People need to remember that $38 million now in the reserve is one-time money. It's our rainy-day account in case of an economic downturn or an unexpected problem. There's no way that fund of one-time money can offset the loss of a permanent source of funding such as the $25 million annually from inheritance tax or the $95 million from video lottery," Janklow said.

There was also enough money left this summer for Janklow to add $9,444,799 to South Dakota's property tax reduction fund.

"This will help us provide the full $120 million in property tax relief that we had budgeted and reach the 30 percent reduction we promised," Janklow said.

In the budget year that ended June 30, state general fund revenue collections totaled $781,664,932.

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