The Governor’s Office of Economic Development’s latest CAFO bribe is $477,585 in tax rebates offered to Hand County if it will let Kirk Aughenbaugh of De Smet build a big hog operation southeast of Miller. GOED chief Steve Westra insists that’s not a bribe or pressure of any sort on the Hand County Commission:
In response to a Journal request for an interview about that criticism, Westra, an appointee of Republican Gov. Kristi Noem, sent a written statement via his departmental spokeswoman.
“I categorically disagree with your inaccurate characterization of the reinvestment payment proposed to Ratio LLC for its Hand County project,” Westra’s statement said. “The incentive is provided under GOED’s Reinvestment Payment Program, which allows companies to assign all or some of their incentive to a third party. County officials are ultimately free to approve or deny a permit on any lawful basis as they see fit. The incentive provided to the company and later assigned to the county does not change that” [Seth Tupper, “State to County: Approve Hog Confinement, Get $477K,” Rapid City Journal, 2019.09.01].
Hand County Commission chairman J.D. Wangsness doesn’t feel ultimately free or unchanged by an incentive that equals more than 16% of the county’s general fund budget:
He called the prospect of a sales-tax rebate windfall a “giant elephant in the room” for county governments, which are dependent on property taxes. Counties do not receive sales-tax revenue, which is earmarked for the state and cities.
“A lot of times, these decisions come down to whether it’s in the best interest of the county to have one of these projects,” Wangsness said. “And when you throw that kind of money at it, it changes the perspective on that” [Tupper, 2019.09.01].
The state wouldn’t be offering these CAFO bribes to counties if they didn’t think those big checks would influence the decision-making process. GOED should stop issuing contradictory statements and just admit that they are pressuring counties to get in line with the state’s business-first, environment-last agenda.
Concerning the county officials ability to approve or deny zoning for a hog CAFO!
” The incentive provided to the company and later assigned to the county doesn’t change that”
The hell it doesn’t! Half a million dollars for a broke county?! This is one of the sleaziest things the GOP has come up with.
An incentive doesn’t change the law, but an incentive is meant to change behavior.
Don’t you just ‘love’ the word mechanics that go on?
Corporate Welfare/Socialism/Bribery = Reinvestment payment. Ok then!
The obvious pun here is –“put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig”.j All of this is very ‘normal’ in GOP world.
Maybe a giant mega hog operation would be a better fit southwest of Castlewood, along Highway 81 in that rocky, S-curve area.
Great quote: “A lot of times, these decisions come down to whether it’s in the best interest of the county to have one of these projects,” Wangsness said. “And when you throw that kind of money at it, it changes the perspective on that.”
Criminal syndicates do this all the time, and criminal syndicates who run countries (eg., Putin) use this way of doing business to get their way. Of course, if bribery doesn’t work, there’s always purges and assassinations. Expect that to come in South Dakota.
If this is such a wonderful idea why doesn’t Mr Aughenbaugh build it over in Kingsbury county?? If you notice driving on I 90 east of Mitchell the smell of the one from some distance north of the interstate can be smelled inside the car But then I guess if enough money is involved anything can be done
Zippy Duvall says that the debt ceiling has been raised for farmers, how special was that.
“Bankruptcy lawyers and farm groups have long advocated for this change. As the U.S.-China trade war drags on, farm incomes have steadily fallen and shrinking cash flow is pushing some farmers to retire early and others to declare bankruptcy.
“With what’s going on in farmland today – as net income has continued to decrease, all the market uncertainty and the natural disasters – this is a very timely change,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall.”https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-congress-farms/u-s-bill-raising-debt-ceiling-for-farm-bankruptcies-heads-to-white-house-idUSKCN1US2L8
So now, you can get these GOED (GO Erectile Dysfunction) bribes to make you feel better whilst you go big time into bankruptcy. Does the county face any liability for the clean up when ol’ Kirk goes bankrupt and leaves an environmental catastrophe or is that just to be ignored like that gas thingy in the Northwest corner of the state…or the failed and broken drill stem near Wasta…or any other failure?
Southeast Hand County is nice country. I’d really hate to see it despoiled by one of those stinking, befouling messes.
As Maggie said, why doesn’t Aughenbaugh put it near DeSmet so it will be handy for him. He could live on site. No commute. Perfect!
Bribery. Did anyone ever suggest Michelson’s plane was sabotaged by right wing thugs? JFK? RFK? MLK? Maybe sacreligious but we will never know when Republican’s are in power (Bush v. Gore, MMR/Joop EB5, MCEC murders, DJT, Billy Sutton.)