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Gov. Noem: South Dakota "Open for Business"

In her second State of the State address, Gov. Kristi Noem promised to grow South Dakota's economy, which has lagged behind the nation's. (foundationforgovernment.org)
In her second State of the State address, Gov. Kristi Noem promised to grow South Dakota's economy, which has lagged behind the nation's. (foundationforgovernment.org)
January 15, 2020

PIERRE, S.D. -- Gov. Kristi Noem stressed that South Dakota is "open for business" in her second State of the State address on Tuesday, citing tax laws that encourage companies to move to the state or expand their operations.

Noem said she's committed to what she calls the "four pillars of protection" for South Dakotans: an open and honest government, limited government regulations, an absence of government intrusion and low taxes.

"We don't have a corporate income tax, and there's also no business inventory tax," she said. "For our hard-working residents, we're one of the few remaining states with no personal income tax, and I'm committed to keeping it that way."

For a second year, Noem also said a priority must be expansion of broadband into rural areas.

After the address, Senate Minority Leader Troy Heinert, D-Mission, said the state also needs to focus on providing adequate funding for education in order to attract new businesses.

According to Noem, tourism is a bright spot in the state's economy, employing almost 9% of the state's workers. In 2019, it enjoyed record growth for the ninth straight year. Tourism includes attracting pheasant hunters, and Noem emphasized hunting, trapping and shooting as fundamental traditions. However, agriculture is South Dakota's largest industry, and the governor is in Washington, D.C., today to witness the signing of a revised trade agreement between the United States and China.

"We need to find ways to strengthen and to broaden our ag industry," she said. "There is no question that this last year was a hard year for our farmers. Our goal is to develop a lasting infrastructure devoted to agriculture for generations to come."

Noem vetoed a bill to legalize the production of industrialized hemp last year, but said she would not veto a second hemp bill if it tightly regulates the crop.

Noem's address is online at facebook.com.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - SD