Entries Tagged 'economy' ↓
October 20th, 2012 — economy, Secretary of State, South Dakotans
Guest Poster contributed;
It appears the state Treasurer’s office has joined the effort to make on-line access even dumber. The lack of ergonomic design in website development shows those of us who have to use their sites, how little they themselves actually use them. Let’s explain, the state of South Dakota, in an effort to collect funds from unsuspecting individuals and businesses decided to make it harder for the owners of lost funds to actually reclaim them. The excellent State Treasurer at the time actually fought all the way to the Supreme Court to protect the average citizens against the greedy hands of bankers and the Governor’s office.
As a result, the state, bankers and other keepers of our assets have collected millions of dollars through hard to use processes. Recently I had to use the SD State Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property website to assist in reclaiming a savings account.
What we found was amazing.
No wonder so little is returned to the rightful owners. The state actually used to actively assist and find the owners – but no more. They now have this cute website where it only allows you to only search by exact spelling. Do you know what is wrong about this? This takes data from many databases where the names are misspelled. In our Scandinavian land of *sen and *son plus the Irish apostrophe names leaves us with no way to accurately find lost assets Why can’t we search by address? Why can’t we search by city? Zip code County? Phonic spelling?
How about searching by the bank or business name where deposit was made? If there was an ability to search by business where property was found, we citizens and customers could actually discover how bad their databases are. So why isn’t there an ability to search by business?
Treasurer Sattgast must have asked SOS Gant how to design an ALEC based website. This is an insider’s website for insiders. The design of this site is not for the average user to use. Try it for yourself and see how bad it is.
July 7th, 2012 — economy, Sioux Falls
This is how you help local businesses expand in South Dakota without giving a handout;
Gov. Dennis Daugaard recently announced the state Board of Water and Natural Resources has approved an $860,000 low-interest loan from the Solid Waste Management Program for Millennium Recycling in Sioux Falls to purchase equipment.
“These funds will help Millennium Recycling obtain equipment to accept additional recyclables, which will reduce the waste stream to regional landfills,” Daugaard said.
The project involves adding equipment to allow Millennium Recycling to sort plastic containers, such as milk, juice and broth cartons, for recycling. Additionally, Millennium will reconfigure sections of its single-stream recycling process to add the new capability and increase the efficiency of its operation.
The estimated cost of the equipment is nearly $1.2 million. The loan terms are 2.25 percent interest for 10 years.
Giving low interest, or even no interest loans to businesses that are beneficial to citizens is the smart way to go. When you give a loan instead of a handout, it is sending a message to taxpayers that this business intends to be around for awhile and make good on the loan, and better yet, improving our quality of life.
June 15th, 2012 — economy, Jon Stewart
On his show Thursday night, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart mocked members of the Senate Banking Committee for going soft on JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon after his firm lost at least $2 billion gambling on derivatives.
March 6th, 2012 — economy, South Dakotans
South Dakota Voters Express Increasing Confidence in their Personal Economic Situation
In a February survey, when Nielson Brothers Polling asked South Dakota registered voters about their personal economic situation, 41 percent responded that they are “more confident” than they were at this time last year. 29 percent are “less confident,” and 30 percent answer “about the same.” These answers show a significant rise in confidence compared to the December 2011 NBP survey in which 23 percent said “more confident,” while 49 percent said “less confident,” and 28 percent said “about the same”.
When NBP asked for views on the national economy, respondents expressed a more modest increase in optimism. 57 percent of South Dakota voters describe the U.S. economy as “excellent” or “good,” compared with 54 percent in the December. More specifically, in the February NBP poll, 8 percent said the nation’s economy is “excellent,” 49 percent said “good, 30 percent said “fair”, and 13 percent said “poor.” In the December 2011 NBP Survey, 12 percent said “excellent.” 42 percent said “good,” 26 percent said “fair,” and 20 percent said “poor.”
Personally I still think we are in a strange holding pattern, and will be for awhile.
November 1st, 2011 — economy, Sioux Falls
Maybe I don’t know WTF I am talking about, but am I the only one that thinks this is happening because prices continue to rise?
Despite an uncertain national economy, city officials say Sioux Falls’ economy continues to gain strength, evidenced in part by steady sales tax growth above 4 percent the past several months.
City sales tax receipts ended the third quarter up 4.6 percent over the same period a year ago. That makes six consecutive months with year-to-date growth above 4 percent, according to the most recent sales tax information.
“Month by month, we continue to see improvements in our economic indicators here locally,” City Finance Director Tracy Turbak said.
While it is very nice to see tax revenue is up, that small percentage is telling me it has to do with inflation. When the economy hit rock bottom last year, there was actually deflation, which resulted in revenue being down. You should always be at a positive, even when there is a recession due to increasing prices and costs.
Councilman Dean Karsky said he’s optimistic the momentum will continue through the end of the year, especially on the brink of the holiday shopping season.
Thanks Dean for that valuable information. Who knew? Is there anything you would like to share with us about the Easter Bunny?
October 7th, 2011 — economy
Get used to it. I have always contended that the rich in SD are using the recession to pay less in wages while lining their pockets. They say the economy is doing good when they want you to buy their goods and services but when you ask for a raise, they say it is going poorly. Just look at the numbers;
South Dakota’s per capita personal income grew by 3.5 percent from 2009 to 2010, according to data recently released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Sounds great right? But look at these numbers;
For example, Nesiba said, median household income in South Dakota has dropped 11.5 percent from 2008 to 2010, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures.
Basically the working stiffs are taking it in the shorts and the rich taking your shorts.
That’s a change from $51,600 in 2008 to $45,669 last year, Nesiba said.
“Even if the average per capita income in South Dakota is going up, those gains must be concentrated at the top,” he said. “What we’re seeing is that South Dakota per capita personal income is being boosted by higher farm incomes, but because of layoffs, lower wages and fewer hours, the median household income is actually falling.”
September 14th, 2011 — economy
from the SD Peace and Justice Center:
The poverty rate in the United States is at 15.1%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage report. This means that 46.2 million people in the United States are in poverty, the largest number since the government began tracking poverty in the 1950s. In addition, the poverty rate for children is 22% and has only been higher three times since the mid-1960s. 49.9 million individuals in the U.S. lack health insurance. Senator Bernie Sanders wrote a very interesting opinion piece on the subject, and mentions the fact that the top 1% of Americans earn more than the bottom 50%.
The Argue Endorser also did an extensive story about poverty and the economy in South Dakota;
Figures released Tuesday show that 13.7 percent of South Dakotans are living below the federal poverty level. That puts the state marginally below national poverty levels of 14.2 percent but above neighboring states of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and Nebraska.
When over 10% of your population is living in poverty, you have to scratch your head a bit and wonder how long this recession is going to last. South Dakotans have always been known to be modest when it comes to income, and these numbers show that it only takes a little down tick to go from lower middle-class to flat out broke real quick. As MC from Dakota War College commented the other day on this site:
I find it odd….
The county is building a homeless shelter,
The city is building an events center.
Yeah, what ironic times we live in? Huh?
September 2nd, 2011 — economy
This video of Elizabeth Warren is from 2007 and it is worth the hour of your time. She is pretty brilliant, I call her the female Noam Chomsky.
August 10th, 2011 — economy, Education funding, South Dakotans
This was originally posted on sdallianceforprogress.com. I thought it was relevant and decided to post the entire article.
By BERNIE HUNHOFF | Contributor
“Disgusted.” That’s what Governor Daugaard told the Yankton Press & Dakotan newspaper he felt (in its July 21 issue) when South Dakotans collected over 23,000 petition signatures so we can all vote on whether your tax dollars should be used for more corporate tax breaks.
Disgusted? There are lots of things to be disgusted about in politics today, but petitioning for a statewide discussion on economic development would be way down on my list.
I’m disgusted because state funding for schools has dropped so low that it leaves communities like Yankton bickering over whether we should raise our property taxes.
I’m disgusted that we lost tens of millions of dollars in matching money for Medicaid because of poor budget decisions in Pierre. The result? Less health care services for poor children and the elderly.
I’m disgusted that we are raising college and tech school tuition as much as 8%, and that we’re the only state without assistance for students from low-income families.
South Dakota is a great state, but a lot of our public policies disgust me.
Another wrong-headed policy is the notion that we should rebate some of the contractor’s excise tax (which otherwise goes to the general fund for schools and health care) to big corporations who plan projects of $5 million and above, at the discretion of the governor’s office. It would replace a current program that was revealed to be a boondoggle before being terminated by the legislature in 2010 because it cost too much.
The governor’s staff told the P&D that 80% or more of the new rebates will go to wind and ethanol programs. They say that now because wind and ethanol has popular support, but nothing in the state law guarantees that and it’s unlikely to occur. TransCanada Pipeline, a major competitor to wind and ethanol, has been one of the beneficiaries in the past.
This newest tax give-away program might cost even more than the one we killed in 2010, and it comes at a time when the general fund is already strapped from the recession.
The administration says the program will pay for itself through increased sales and property taxes. If that’s the case, let’s end the contractor’s excise altogether and then the state’s coffers will grow even more.
Let’s end the tax for farmers who build a machine shed or barn. Let’s end it for
the family-owned car dealership under construction north of Yankton. Let’s end it for the two women who tore down an old building on Howard’s main street and built a new coffee shop and eatery. Let’s rebate it for the entrepreneurs who restored the old bank building on Vermillion’s Main Street into a fine steakhouse.
Let’s end it for every businessman and farmer. But let’s not let government pick winners and losers. If big projects get a rebate, Main Street should qualify for the same. Everyone should be treated alike when it comes to taxation.
We all know that raising well-educated and healthy children is the best investment a government can make in economic development and the future. We’ve cut those priorities in recent years, and no community knows it better than Yankton, where we’re now seeking charitable contributions for extra-curricular activities.
So if the administration wants to write rebate checks to big companies, it should find an appropriate funding source. Don’t take even more resources away from schools and our poorest families.
In South Dakota, a veto referendum on tax revenues is officially cleared for the 2012 ballot. The veto referendum tackles HB 1230, which would dedicate part of tax revenues for grants to some business projects in the state. Specifically, if the law is not repealed, starting on January 1, 2013, a 22 percent portion of contractor-excise tax revenues would allocated to a “large project fund”. The state Board of Economic Development would then decide which specific projects would be qualified to receive grants from that large fund. Reports say that the law requires the projects to be at least $5 million in size. Submitted signatures were verified on July 18, 2011. However, the measure was not officially certified for the ballot at that time.
August 2nd, 2011 — economy
This new poll does not surprise me. Like I have said in the past, waiting tables, I have a first hand view of consumer confidence etc. I will say this, the thrifty people still exist, but I have felt over the past month that people are just becoming ‘comfortable’ with their situation and are willing to deal with it. Which of course translates into complacency, which is unfortunate.