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GOED Spends $32K Per Job Created/Retained on Tax Rebates

On August 25, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development reported on its corporate-socialism handouts to the Government Operations and Audit Committee.  The report includes this table of $29.6 million in Reinvestment Payment Program tax rebates approved to build or expand fourteen businesses around the state in Fiscal Year 2023:

Governor's Office of Economic Development, "Building SD Funds," report to Government Operations and Audit Committee, 2023.08.25,
Governor’s Office of Economic Development, “Building SD Funds,” report to Government Operations and Audit Committee, 2023.08.25.

The recipient of the most RPP funds is Gevo, which proposes to build a renewable jet fuel plant in Lake Norden. Four entities connected to that ambitious plan—Gevo Net-Zero, Lakeside Biogas, Dakota Renewable Hydrogen, and Kingsbury County Wind Fuel—received a total of $18.85 million in tax rebates, nearly 64% of the RPP’s FY2023 payouts. Gevo now says it may cancel its project and take its 113 promised jobs elsewhere if South Dakota doesn’t approve the Summit Carbon Solutions carbon dioxide pipeline.

The next luckiest RPP recipient is Riverside LLP, which got $4.4 million to build the new Redstone Dairy in Kingsbury County. Riverside is quick to point out that it doesn’t put that $4.4 million in its pocket; Riverside’s contract with the state requires it to pass that $4.4 million on to Kingsbury County as a thank-you for the county’s approval of Redstone’s CAFO permit. Riverside will seek a similar $4.5M CAFO bribe for its proposed dairy on the Arnold/Noem family land in Hamlin County.

GOED figures that its $29.6M in tax kickbacks have created or retained (or will create or retain) the equivalent of 917 full-time jobs. That’s a bit more than $32K per job. The RPP grants spend much less per job in business expansions—$474 per job at Phase Technologies in Rapid City, apparently the best return on GOED dollars in this list. Jobs at the Redstone Dairy come at a cost to the state of $55K each; jobs at Gevo’s four entities need $167K each in socialist support.

The jobs that GOED thinks are worth $32K a pop represent 0.19% of South Dakota’s workforce. The other 482,200 workers in South Dakota somehow manage to keep showing up for work and drawing paychecks without the state sending their employers $32K per worker in corporate welfare.


  1. grudznick 2023-10-13 07:00

    We have some hard workers in South Dakota, no doubt. And there are some slackards, too, who need to get a job. And some fellows with jobs who are coasting and whining for more money. Want more money? Work harder.

  2. O 2023-10-13 08:28

    If I were advising our workers how to get higher wages, in contrast to Grudznick’s very, very bad advice, I would say unionize and STOP working — go on strike. Reminding the investor class of who actually creates the profit seems to be working quite well across the nation now. Make those owners reach into their tax-supported pockets for the money the workers deserve.

  3. jakc 2023-10-13 20:14

    It’s true that hard work is its own reward. Work hard, and most employers will give you more hard work.

  4. DaveFN 2023-10-13 21:26

    You know it, jakc!

  5. e platypus onion 2023-10-14 08:41

    Billionaires hiring more lobbyists to get more gubmint handouts must be exhausting work, or why do so many billionaires have yooge yachts and private resorts to rest up in/on?

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