As the snow starts to fly, Governor Dennis Daugaard is getting ready to fly south... as is a chunk of our tax dollars. Right after the Western Governors' Association meeting in Palm Springs December 7 and 8, Governor Daugaard heads to San Diego to press the flesh with up to 60 CEOs in hopes of getting them to come do business in South Dakota.
One offer already on the table: Governor Daugaard is offering $20 million in grants and loans to get startup brake engineers PureForge to move to Rapid City.
Alas, we see another example of the failure of South Dakota's low-tax/no-tax policies. One would think that our purported lower cost of living, our lack of income tax, and our lighter regulatory regime would have California businesses flocking here. But PureForge apparently needs a bigger bribe to leave the land of earthquakes for our stable ground.
PureForge is playing the system, of course, warning its California neighbors that "it'll be hard to keep us here" given South Dakota's offer. Governor Daugaard now needs to hope that California or some other richer state won't decide that PureForge is worth a counter-offer. Such is the terrible bidding war to which these big-business grants inevitably lead us.