PIERRE -—Legislators publicly unveiled most of the details this morning of a comprehensive approach for economic development incentives for big business projects that wouldn’t otherwise come to South Dakota and for community , school, housing and highway development as part of the package.
The plan would allow a state board to make grants or refunds that would be known as reinvestment payments in amounts up to the total sales and use tax paid for a project.
The reinvestment payments would be available for new business projects costing at least $20 million and for existing businesses replacing equipment of at least $2 million.
State lawmakers have four working days left this week and one final working on March 25 in the 2013 legislative session to get the 22-page bill approved after its first and only public hearing.
There are additional details that will be changed through amendments in the days ahead, said Sen. Corey Brown, R-Gettysburg.
The House State Affairs Committee amended the proposal into another piece of legislation whose purpose was to serve as a shell for it. The measure, SB 235, goes to the full House of Representatives for consideration today.
The bill won’t receive another public hearing unless the Senate disagrees with the House version of the bill and sends it to a Senate-House conference committee for negotiation.
Legislators had been working on the plan behind the scenes for weeks and stressed its bipartisan nature. They rolled together a variety of other bills from lawmakers such as Rep. Scott Munsterman, R-Brookings; Rep. Dick Werner, R-Huron; Sen. Jim White, R-Huron; Sen. Shantel Krebs, R-Renner; Sen. Larry Rhoden, R-Union Center; House Republican leader David Lust of Rapid City; and Brown.
They presented an overview of the proposal Thursday at a news conference. The actual legislation wasn’t provided publicly until Friday, when copies were sent to some reporters at news organizations.
Brown began his presentation this morning by quoting the Gov. George S. Mickelson speech that opened the 1987 legislative session, when the state’s business-loan fund was formed through a one-time tax increase to raise $40 million.
Brown described the current proposal as “one of the largest rewrites” for economic development in the last quarter century. He said it would create a framework.
He presented wind development statistics that he said show a disparity between South Dakota and neighboring states.