South Dakota


Acknowledgment of God


We, the people of South Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties, in order to form a more perfect and independent government, establish justice, insure tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and preserve to ourselves and to our posterity the blessings of liberty, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the State of South Dakota.

Religion Clauses

Article VI, section 3.

The right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience shall never be infringed. No person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege, or position on account of his religious opinions; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse licentiousness, the invasion of the rights of others, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of the state. No person shall be compelled to attend or support any ministry or place of worship against his consent nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious establishment or mode of worship. No money or property of the state shall be given or appropriated for the benefit of any sectarian or religious society or institution.


Article VIII, section 16.

No appropriation of lands, money, or other property or credits to aid any sectarian school shall ever be made by the state, or any county or municipality within the state, nor shall the state or any county or municipality within the state accept any grant, conveyance, gift, or bequest of lands, money, or other property to be used for sectarian purposes, and no sectarian instruction shall be allowed in any school or institution aided or supported by the state.

Article VIII, section 20.

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 3, Article VI and section 16, Article VIII, the Legislature may authorize the loaning of nonsectarian textbooks to all children of school age.

Finance/Property Tax

Article XI, section 6.

The Legislature shall, by general law, exempt from taxation, property used exclusively for agricultural and horticultural societies, for school, religious, cemetery, and charitable purposes, property acquired and used exclusively for public highway purposes, and personal property to any amount not exceeding in value two hundred dollars for each individual liable to taxation.