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Economic Development
The Rapid City Trade Area includes over 450,000 people within 200 miles. As such, Rapid City and the surrounding Black Hills Communities offer retail trade, medical and professional services, and recreation opportunities second to none. Over the past decade, Rapid City has consistently been nationally ranked for retail sales per household and continues to perform at record levels, even during the recession.
  • South Dakota #1 Business Tax Climate (The Tax Foundation)
  • The Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States study lists South Dakota as the seventh best state in the nation for business in 2012
  • Rapid City #4 in CNNMoney's Best Places to Launch
  • Rapid City Ranked Sixth Best Small City by Forbes in 2005
  • Rapid City Public Library named to USA Today Top 10
  • How Friendly Are the States Toward Entrepreneurship? South Dakota is Top Ranked
  • South Dakota Rated Friendliest State for Entrepreneurship (Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council)
  • Named Pocket of Prosperity (Business Week)
  • South Dakota ranked number one in small business survival index for 2003 (Small Business Survival Committee)
  • 2010 Men's Journal Magazine - Best Places to Live/Build Your Dream House - Black Hills, SD
Quality of Life

Rapid City is known as the "Gateway to the Black Hills" and as the region's tourism, recreation, economic, medical, employment and retail hub. Where else, but in Rapid City, South Dakota can you combine the nation's best business climate with unmatched beauty and recreation?

From a business perspective, it's hard to argue with the benefits in South Dakota. We were recently rated the 10th most livable state in America. We have the 7th lowest cost of living index. And we're the 7th safest state in nation.

While people in more metropolitan areas spend hours of drive time, the state average commute in South Dakota is 13.8 minutes. What that means is more time for golfing, fishing, hiking, relaxing with family or doing whatever it is that makes you happiest.

For the outdoor enthusiast, there is no better place to be than Western South Dakota. Recreational opportunities are truly limited only by your imagination. Outdoor lovers participate in everything from hiking to fishing to rock climbing. If skiing is your thing, our winters provide you with the opportunity to cross country or downhill ski. In the summer, break out your skis and enjoy some of the calmest waters around.

If you're more into cultural activities, Western South Dakota has much to offer. This area of the state has played host to many traveling theater groups, international dance troupes and national powwow competitions.

Some say living in South Dakota is like a dream come true. We work hard, we play hard. We make a profit, we keep that profit. We have the time to do the things that are important to us and we think that's the way life is meant to be.

Sphere of Influence

As the economic epicenter for a 200-mile radius, including portions of five-states, and serving a population of over 450,000 people, Rapid City is well positioned for even further growth and business development in the years ahead.

Our region enjoys a strong and healthy economic base of agriculture and tourism, and our economy continues to diversify into science, medical, engineering, technology, military-related and energy industry clusters by leveraging the following key regional assets:

  • Ellsworth Air Force Base
  • Rapid City Regional Hospital
  • South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
  • Rapid City Regional Airport
  • Black Hills Business Development Center
  • Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory
  • Western Dakota Technical Institute
  • National American University
  • Center for Business and Economics of the Northern Plains
  • Black Hills State University

Take a look at what we have to offer, then contact us to find out how we can help your business thrive in Rapid City.

Taxes & Business Environment

The Black Hills of South Dakota is home to America's most famous "great faces" - those found on Mt. Rushmore National Memorial. It's also home to many companies that are experiencing "great profits" as a result of the state's outstanding business climate.

Top-notch telecommunication systems, an available, professional workforce, and unlimited training opportunities are three of the factors prompting people to take a second look at the Black Hills of South Dakota. Here are several more:

South Dakota has:
  • NO Corporate Income Tax
  • NO Personal Income Tax
  • NO Personal Property Tax
  • NO Inventory Tax
  • Competitive workers compensation rates
  • Lowest average unemployment insurance rates
  • Right-to-Work State
  • Fourth lowest overall crime rate in the nation
  • An average commute time of 13.8 minutes
  • Number one high school graduation rate in the nation
  • Leads the nation in manufacturing job growth

And the benefits of doing business in South Dakota are even better for companies in the telecommunications industry.

South Dakota has:
  • No sales/use tax on interstate phone calls
  • No restrictions on interest rate charges
  • No restrictions on late fees
  • No restrictions on hours telemarketers allowed to call
  • No registration
  • No asterick laws
  • One party consent recording
Sales Tax
State 4%
City 2%
Tourism Tax 1%
The school levy varies depending on the property's classification. Businesses receive the non-ag. rate specified below.
Real Property Tax (business)
County 5.1463
Water .0350
City 3.3041
(.8260 for ag. property)
School (non-ag) 17.7052
The above would be the levies that apply to businesses
School (owner occupied) 10.7729
School (non-ag. Z) 9.4832
School (ag.) 8.4756

Unemployment Insurance

South Dakota average unemployment insurance rate is .9% - the sixth lowest in the nation.


Overall State Per Capita Taxation 2005

Overall state per capita taxes were provided for all 50 states in 2005. South Dakota is the lowest state per capita taxes in the nation.

State Per Capita Taxation Rank
South Dakota $1,430 1
Colorado $1,640 4
Minnesota $3,094 46
Montana $2,004 18
Nebraska $2,158 26
North Dakota $2,203 29
Business Inventory Tax

South Dakota does not tax business inventories. South Dakota does not impose a state property tax. And, South Dakota has not taxed personal property since 1979. In South Dakota, the only property taxes you pay for are local taxes on real property, land and buildings.

Rapid City, South Dakota
Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, and North Dakota

Corporate Income Tax

State Income tax
South Dakota NONE
Colorado 4.63% - Qualified taxpayers may pay an alternative tax of 0.5% of gross receipts from sales in or into Colorado
Minnesota 9.8% - Alternative minimum tax equal to the excess of 5.8% of Minnesota alternative minimum taxable income over the basic tax is imposed. corporations are subject to additional minimum tax ranging from $0 to $5,000 depending on MN property, payroll and sales or receipts and type of corporation.
Montana 6.75% - Taxpayers making a water's edge election are taxed at 7%. Qualified coporations may elect to pay an alternative tax of 1/2% of gross sales in Montana during the tax year.
Nebraska First $50,000 - 5.8%
More than $50,000 - 7.81%
North Dakota First $3,000 - 2.6%
Next $5,000 - 4.1%
Next $12,000 - 5.6%
Next $10,000 - 6.4%
Next $30,000 - 7%
Corporations making a water's-edge election must pay an additional 3.5% tax.
Overall State Per Capita Taxation

Overall state per capita taxes are provided for all 50 states in 2003. South Dakota has the 2nd lowest state per capita taxes in the nation

State Per Capita Taxation National Ranking
South Dakota $1,378 2
Colorado $1,533 3
Minnesota $2,889 47
Montana $1,754 14
Nebraska $2,083 33
North Dakota $1,938 23

Gil Raben - Owner Broker
Contacts: Email
1-605-342-7272 Local Phone
Members: Black Hills & National Association of Realtors
Rapid City Chamber of Commerce
Raben Real Estate Corner of 3rd & Main Street 401 3rd street
Mail: Raben Real Estate PO Box 1279 Rapid City, SD 57703

401 - 3rd St.
Rapid City, SD 57701
Licensed in SD - Members: Black Hills and National Association of Realtors, Rapid City Multiple Listing Service, Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Association