He wasn’t comfortable doing more than one-time projects with the money because people or their children could still make their claims for what they were due and because the amount could vary by millions every year.
As the 2013 legislative session opened, he saw smaller, targeted proposals for economic and community development crop up from other legislators. Because they could be adjusted year to year, they were a good fit for a funding source that was somewhat risky and would ebb and flow.
“My new favorite phrase this session is repetitive one-time dollars,” Brown said. “We funded this with dollars that didn’t exist before this year. It wasn’t any action of ours. It was the banks.”
The Democratic leaders sat side by side with Republicans in unveiling the plan a week ago and in conducting several hearings in the days since.
“I feel pretty good about it,” Hunhoff said.
“We’re deeply involved in the bill that you have,” Frerichs said.
The other source for the Building South Dakota fund will be revenues from the contractor’s excise tax on business projects costing at least $20 million.
They in turn will be eligible for tax refunds, officially known as reinvestment payments, up to the amount of the sales and use taxes paid on the project.
The clincher to bring the governor aboard was adding the safety valve so that the unclaimed property money would be shifted back into general purposes for K-12 and Medicaid in a tough budget year.
Brown said banks reorganized for federal tax purposes and in the process several chose South Dakota because of its state tax structure.
Krebs said she hopes more banks get recruited to South Dakota because of the changes made in usury laws some 30 years ago, under then-Gov. Bill Janklow and lawyer Jeremiah Murphy that landed Citibank in the first place.
She recalled the attitude in the Senate Republican caucus as session began in January: “We all campaigned on economic development. Let’s do something about it.”