South Dakota Taxation

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

None at this Time

Why Use Tax Records[edit | edit source]

By studying several consecutive years of tax records you may determine when a young men came of age, when individuals moved in and out of a home, or when they died leaving heirs. Authorities determined wealth (real estate, or income) to be taxed. Taxes can be for polls, real and personal estate, or schools.

Tax record content varies and may include the name and residence of the taxpayer, description of the real estate, name of original purchaser, description of personal property, number of males over 21, number of school children, slaves, and farm animals. Tax records usually are arranged by date and locality and are not normally indexed. Tax records can be used in place of missing land and census records to locate a person’s residence.

How to Use Tax Records for South Dakota[edit | edit source]

County Level[edit | edit source]

Tax lists that have survived are housed at the county seat in the auditor's office. The following is a list of printed tax material that can be found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, UT, also check with "Worldcat" for other possible locations for these books.

  • Pennington Co., and Rapid Valley taxpayers directory 1934-36 & 1960 - 1990 intermittent years (Family History Library book 978.393 E4p)
  • Aberdeen (Brown County, S.D.) city directory by R. L. Polk and Company (Family History Library book 978.3144/A1 E4p)
  • Polk's Deadwood (South Dakota) city directory R. L. Polk and Company (Family History Library book 978.391 E4p)
  • Yankton (Yankton County, S.D.) city directory (Family History Library book number  FHL 978.3394/Y1E4p

State Level[edit | edit source]

Some early tax records have been microfilmed and remain at the South Dakota State Historical Society, including those of "Old Stanley County", comprised of present-day Stanley, Haakon, and Jackson counties. The microfilms for tax records are not always easy to read but can include county commissions work in selecting juries, docket books, and real and personal property taxes. Other microfilm at the archives includes Huron, in Beadle County (1883-1902); Edmunds (1887-1924); Roberts (1884-1929); Stanley (1891-1930); Union (1870-1901); and delinquent tax lists from Walworth(before 1899) [1]

South Dakota State Historical Society
Address: 900 Governors Dr.
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-3458
South Dakota State Historical Society

Tax money bag.jpg

Tax Laws[edit | edit source]

Abraham Lincoln instituted the income tax in 1862, and on July 1, 1862, Congress passed the Internal Revenue Act, creating the Bureau of Internal Revenue (later renamed to the Internal Revenue Service). This act was intended to “provide Internal Revenue to support the Government and to pay interest on the Public Debt.” Instituted in the height of the Civil War, the “Public Debt” at the time primarily consisted of war expenses. For the Southern States that were part of the Confederate side of the Civil War, once Union troops took over parts of the Southern States, income tax were instituted on them. [2]

  • To learn more about this Collection click here
  • To learn more about the Civil War taxes click here

What history has shown us is that while property taxes are locally levied, there is significant state involvement with the amount of tax local political subdivisions can levy, how property assessments are conducted, and what services local taxing subdivisions must provide for their residents. This comes at a cost to state taxpayers, because the state has obligations it must fund as well, with a limited amount of state tax dollars.

References[edit | edit source]