Sales revenue provides boost to Lead’s economy

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Saturday
Published: Jul. 30, 2022 at 7:49 PM MDT
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LEAD, S.D. (KEVN) - The City of Lead has had a long mining history that first got the town up and running.

In recent years, ”Lead has had a long history of not a lot of retail action going on in town,” explained Ron Everett, Mayor of Lead.

This resulted in city residents only worrying about a property tax.

That was until around 2018 when the city’s sales tax started to increase.

“It started to increase because of the lab, the Sanford Underground Lab, and people decided that Lead was a nice place to be and things are happening,” said Everett.

Construction and internet sales tax also contributed to an increase in overall sale tax for the city.

“So, we decided at the city council level that we consider that a windfall tax and we started to budget and spend accordingly,” explained Everett and added that anything over that budget goes into a special fund. “That special fund has been growing since 2018 and right now, at this point in time through June, we are $300,000 above our budget.”

While a majority of that money does go toward improving the City of Lead’s infrastructure, a smaller portion goes into projects that may be considered a bit more fun.

“Fun things that we see are like over my shoulder is the skatepark,” stated Everett.

The skatepark which broke ground early this summer was a small part of the Lead Park rebuild.

Although a majority of the skatepark was paid through donations, Everett said it’s great to contribute to projects that benefit the community.

“It’s hard to say when people ask ‘what’d you spend your money on?’ Well, we put it into the ground in water, sewer, and roads, but those are very important things for people to realize that we do spend a majority of the taxes on infrastructure but we do have occasion to spend some money on fun things,” said Everett.

Overall, Everett says he’s excited to see what the future has in store for the town.

“It’s been a real fun time the last 6-8 years as things started to turn around for Lead,” stated Everett.

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