PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota lawmakers reacted Monday to tens of millions of dollars that a state government board has provided since 2013 to help new and expanding businesses offset taxes they paid for construction and equipment.
The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Appropriations received a written report on the reinvestment payment program from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
The state Board of Economic Development makes the decisions based on GOED recommendations.
Prior to the 2013 session, the Legislature had become increasingly concerned about millions of dollars in automatic tax rebates under a previous GOED program.
Lawmakers created the 2013 reinvestment program in response. Businesses can apply to the state board for consideration. State laws define who can apply.
GOED finance director Cassie Stoeser presented an overview of the program.
Representative Jean Hunhoff, a Yankton Republican, questioned whether GOED staff follows up on whether a business delivers on the promises made, such as pay and jobs-created. Stoeser replied, “Not at this time, no.”
One of the requirements is a company must prove it wouldn’t have located in South Dakota without the reinvestment incentive.
“I think it’s very important that we learn about this program,” Senator John Wiik, a Big Stone City Republican, said. He is a committee co-chairman.
“There’s a lot on this list that won’t be paid out for a year or more,” said Representative Hugh Bartels, a Watertown Republican.
Many of the committee’s 18 representatives and senators weren’t serving in 2013 when the laws passed.