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OUR VIEW: SD needs to attract business projects

Even as we wrote it, we knew that our late-October endorsement of Referred Law 14 was fraught with questions and concerns.

If passed, the proposal would have created the Large Project Development Fund, to be used to attract large business projects to South Dakota. The fund would have been created by taking 22 percent of contractors' excise tax dollars from the state's general fund. The money have been doled out as seen fit by the South Dakota Board of Economic Development.

The proposal was shot down by South Dakota voters during the November election. We weren't necessarily surprised, because many people had big concerns about the plan. It was too costly, some said, and it gave too much power to the Board of Economic Development.

We endorsed Referred Law 14, but suggested that if approved, state officials immediately begin work to fine-tune it. Our thought was that the proposal was a good start toward attracting big business to South Dakota.

Last week, The Daily Republic outlined how some legislative leaders are working to find a new way to incentivize business development in the state.

Republicans say it's imperative that South Dakota come up with a plan that can help our state compete with nearby states that offer various breaks on construction taxes or other incentive programs. Bernie Hunhoff, a Democratic leader in the Legislature, said he doesn't oppose such programs, but he stresses that it should not come at the expense of supporting schools.

This is a good start.

We urge members of the Legislature to pursue this idea and see if some sort of compromising solution can be found. Incentives will jump-start business development in South Dakota.

Voters killed Gov. Dennis Daugaard's proposal in November. We preferred that it would have passed, but understand why it didn't.

Now is the time to craft another development plan that's agreeable to both sides, yet one that still can be effective for the state.