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Federal Dollars Providing Critical Help for South Dakota’s Neediest

December 10, 2007

Vermillion, SD – Where do federal dollars go when they end up in South Dakota? A study released by the University of South Dakota's Business Research Bureau shows more federal funding coming into the state than going out, and the funds are being used to help a wide range of the state's neediest citizens. Report author Carole Cochran says, for every dollar of federal tax collected in-state, $1.49 is returned.

"That ranks us tenth highest, nationally. I think the other thing is, when you break that $6.6 billion down, about half of it went to direct payments to individuals for retirement and disability, and other direct payments for such things as Medicare benefits, employment compensation and food stamps."

Cochran adds that federal dollars help a wide range of South Dakotans, and that everyone recieves some form of federal money, at some point in their lives.

"These payments are for Social Security, survivors' insurance, disability, supplemental security income payments, federal retirement and veterans' benefits. The other direct payments are for unemployment compensation, food stamp payments, housing and agricultural assistance. So, it's not really to one specific group of people; it really cuts a broad swatch."

The full report can be accessed online at

David Law/John Robinson, Public News Service - SD