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Meade County-Tax Incentive for New Businesses

Meade County-Tax Incentive for New Businesses
Meade County keeping tax incentive program for new businesses
Gary Matthews - November 10, 2017

STURGIS, S.D. – Meade County Commissioners have decided to keep in place a program that allows new businesses to pay no taxes for five years.

The program, established in 2010, allows new businesses in Meade County to skip five years’ worth of property taxes if their project costs at least $30,000.

Commission Chairman Galen Niederwerder says school taxes and rising health insurance costs brought the program to the discussion table Wednesday.

"You know, the county has forgiven revenue for the last several years on this program. But, you know, the revenue isn't really forgiven on the school side. What happens is that all the other taxpayers in the district then end up subsidizing, basically, those taxes. They don't go away, they are just spread out among other taxpayers. We wanted to discuss that and make sure that was fair and if it was providing the economic impact we wanted," Niederwerder said.

Niederwerder says despite the school tax dilemma, the commission believes it’s a good long term investment because it builds the tax base.

"I think it ends being two-to-three cents per thousand for each taxpayer to subsidize the school district. That, compared to what we have seen from the economic side, pushed us in favor of keeping the program."

Niederwerder says since 2012, the county has averaged about $83,000 a year in forgiven taxes. But, he says the program is benefitting the county in the long run because several businesses have told commissioners they probably wouldn’t have built in Meade County without it.



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