By Senator John ThuneJob creation and economic growth continue to be the subject of national discussion as America’s unemployment rate has hovered over eight percent for the past 36 straight months and the national economy remains stagnant due to a crippling national debt, and excessive taxation and regulations on U.S. job creators.
During a recent Congressional state work period, I had the opportunity to participate in the Spearfish Economic Development Corporation’s annual meeting. Also, while on the road visiting Aberdeen recently, I had the opportunity to tour a thriving business, Hub City Inc.
During this meeting and the tour, it was clear that while our state and local governments continue to do an excellent job of supporting economic growth and development, the federal government increasingly has become a roadblock for South Dakota’s job creators. Business owners voiced concern over the rise in regulations and red tape that increase the cost of doing business in our state and beyond. The onslaught of regulations, from Dodd-Frank to Obamacare, continues to create more uncertainty for employers and is holding back even more economic growth. Uncertainty about tax policy and energy costs continues to hamstring business decisions for our state’s job creators and even threatens the start-up of new businesses.
While the nation continues the discussion of how to jump start our economy and get Americans back to work, South Dakota continues to serve as an excellent model of how to do business and keep a strong economy functioning, even during difficult fiscal periods. Our state’s fiscally responsible state and local governments have been conservative with taxpayer dollars and not spent beyond their means. Additionally, with no personal income tax and no corporate state income tax, South Dakota continues to attract businesses to locate and develop in our state.
This February, South Dakotans received the news that Bel Brands USA, a popular cheese maker in the U.S., plans to start a cheese plant in Brookings that will create over 400 jobs in the area when it is fully completed. The 170,000 square foot manufacturing plant is expected to have an economic impact of $500 million.
As the federal government’s economic and tax policies threaten to hamper these businesses’ ability to continue growing and expanding in our state, I will fight back against these ill-advised policies and work for pro-growth solutions that lower the cost of doing business in our state.