Do you think welfare should include work requirements? Then go talk to Tru Shrimp. The Balaton, Minnesota, company got $2.6 million in government assistance and had another $3 million to $5 million coming:
The board of the Balaton, Minn.-based firm in November gave final approval for the $45 million facility on 67 acres just outside Luverne. The state of Minnesota had invested nearly $2 million to build roads and utilities to the site and Luverne, a city of about 5,000 residents, invested $600,000 in the effort.
…By abandoning Luverne, Tru Shrimp leaves on the table between $3 million and $5 million in production credit from the state of Minnesota [Kristen Leigh Palmer, “Tru Shrimp’s Decision to Build ‘Harbor’ in South Dakota Surprises Luverne, State Officials,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2019.01.08].
But after publicly promising (as recently as November) to return the favor by working for Minnesota, Tru Shrimp isn’t doing any work for Luverne. Even Minnesota’s environmental rules for specific conductance, which Minnesota’s Pollution Control Agency tried to make clear to Tru Shrimp all along, are too much to ask a recipient of millions in corporate welfare to follow. Tru Shrimp is bringing its snack-filled brine vats to Madison, South Dakota, where it will face even fewer environmental requirements and receive even more welfare and tax breaks:
Daugaard counted it as a win for his administration and his economic development office, which kicked in money for a $6.5 million low-interest loan to help attract Tru Shrimp to Madison, along with the potential for 120 jobs and tens of millions of dollars of economic impact [Patrick Anderson, “How South Dakota Won Over Tru Shrimp in Spite of Minnesota Plans,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2019.01.04].
[CEO Michael Ziebell] said the company was attracted to Madison because of the people, but the Opportunity Zone designation was also a key factor. That designation by the U.S. Department of Treasury, which was announced by the GOED last fall, enables investors to reinvest capital gains in local projects without paying taxes on that income for 10 years [Mary Gales Askren, “Tru Shrimp to Build in Madison; $30 Million Impact Expected,” Madison Daily leader, 2019.01.04].
Tru Shrimp will also slurp up up to 300,000 gallons of water a day from the million gallons of additional agua Madison currently pulls circuitously from the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System, another great example of how business doesn’t happen without government—i.e., all of us—spending lots of money on big projects.
Keep an eye out for Tru Shrimp lobbyists in Pierre: when they wanted to build in Luverne, Tru Shrimpers asked the Minnesota Legislature to subsidize shrimp production to the tune of up to $5 million a year for five years. Minnesota nixed that plan, but who knows what other handouts they’ll be able to persuade South Dakota’s eager-to-please regime to pass… and all without any work requirement.