It doesn't take long after moving to Sioux Falls for a person to understand that it won't hit your pocketbook as hard to live here as compared to most other cities across the United States. This is due in large part to a very favorable tax climate, affordable housing and affordable utility costs. Overall, the cost of living is six percent lower than the national average.
Taxes: With a modest sales tax rate of only six and one-half percent on most purchases and no state personal income tax in South Dakota (among only seven states in the country), workers are able to keep more earnings in their pockets. In addition, South Dakota is devoid of personal property tax, inheritance tax and has no corporate income tax, which has led to many businesses relocating or expanding their workforce in Sioux Falls.
Affordable Housing: When compared to other cities in the region, Sioux Falls' housing prices rank among the best. In early 2017, the median existing home price within the city was $179,900 and the average monthly rent for a two bedroom apartment was just over $700. Multiple varieties of housing options and styles exist, which of course allow for the accommodation of preference for both lifestyle and budget.
Utility Costs: Sioux Falls enjoys among the lowest utility costs in the nation. In 2016, residential electricity prices averaged 12.49 cents per killowatt-hour, or about 3 percent less than the national average. Natural gas prices reflect an even greater cost savings as Sioux Falls residents paid 20 percent less than the national average rate in 2016.
As one can quickly identify when it comes to cost of living, Sioux Falls ranks among the most reasonable places to reside. In fact, Livability.com, which "explores what makes small-to-medium sized cities great places to live," recently named Sioux Falls as the #5 best affordable place in America.
I made the choice to move back to Sioux Falls after being gone for over 25 years. With all of my family living in Sioux Falls I thought it was a good time to come back to my roots. They say there is no place like home.
My 25-year adventure took me all over the United States. I had the opportunity to live in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Oklahoma, California, Illinois, Tennessee and Georgia.
I am often asked "What was your favorite place to live"?
That may seem like a simple question. But, it is not. There are many variables that come into play.
My lifestyle was as varied as the terrain. While living in Boston, MA; Irvine, CA and Alpharetta, GA I could easily spend up to four hours in the car commuting to work each day. Just think what you can do with an extra four hours each day. Would you fulfill your commitment to going to the gym? Would you volunteer your time and talent to your favorite non-profit? Would you spend more time with your friends and family? That's one of the many benefits of living in Sioux Falls. You can be almost anywhere in less than 15 minutes.
Housing was another area that varied greatly. Housing was very affordable in Manchester, NH; Louisville, KY; Edmond, OK and Nashville, TN. But, not so much in Boston, Irvine, San Francisco and Chicago. If my executive contract did not include housing and parking in San Francisco I would have been living with roommates in a one-bedroom apartment just to make ends meet; parking in downtown San Francisco can easily run $500/month. That's what some pay for a one-bedroom apartment in Sioux Falls!
Living all over the country has molded me into the person I am today. It makes me appreciate the little things. I have friends that I have met on my journey that are lifelong friends and I try to visit them as often as possible.
But, I am home.