To the Editor:
I’ve heard the budget is tight in South Dakota. Except for money for industrial wind farms. Recently, four of them received another $13 million in sales tax dollars they won’t have to pay, but the taxpayer of South Dakota will.
South Dakota state government has been rated among the most corrupt state governments in the nation by the NGO Coalition for Integrity (2018) and the State Integrity Study (2015). The main reason for their poor ranking is no oversight.
In the last month, five wind projects received about $18 million for roughly 40 full-time jobs, that’s $450,000 per job created. If you read Bob Mercer’s “SD Board ok’s millions in refunds to wind farms” article from Jan. 15, it says: “A related law requires the board to consider whether the project would have happened in South Dakota without the incentive.” Then it says, “The board discussed the loans and reinvestment payments behind closed doors Wednesday, then moved in open session to approve them without discussion.”
These five projects already exist, are approved, or under construction. Did the Board follow the law? Recently, the PUC didn’t even enforce their own conditions they placed on Crowned Ridge. There is no oversight.
The budget is tight in South Dakota, unless you’re a wind developer or the Governor’s daughter.