A measure on the November ballot could attract big out of state business to South Dakota, but at what cost?
Twenty-three thousand South Dakota voters petitioned to bring part of the governors economic development bill to the vote this November.
The law, which passed through the legislature earlier this year, would take a portion of an existing tax on South Dakota contractors and rebate a share of the taxes to out-of-state companies.
The measure is designed to provide more incentives for large out-of-state companies to build and expand in South Dakota.
Proponents of the law say the energy, agriculture and dairy industries have so far benefited from the law, which has rebated $90 million so far. Democratic opponents say its giving out of state competition a leg up.
"The best thing we can do for the state is broaden our tax base, to bring in a lot of different industries that are varied, everything from agriculture, manufacturing to wind and light because that variety is going to insulate us from a lot of downside," said Steve Willard, a lobbiest and member of the 'Yes to 14' committee.
"They're picking winners and losers. Let the market decide that. We have a good business climate. If out-of-staters want to come here and compete and do business, wonderful, we
welcome them, but I don't think we should tax locals to bring in out of state people to compete with local people," said Mike Wilson, Chairmen of the Pennington county Democratic party.
Projects receiving money under the economic development law must cost more than $5-million dollars. One-third of the money rebated has gone to ethanol industry.