Noem Touts Economy of South Dakota, ‘Not Coming for Beaches’

South Dakota is attracting thousands of new residents and hundreds of businesses with the fastest growing economy in the country, GOP Gov. Kristi Noem boasted Tuesday, “not for our beaches and our wonderful weather.”

“We have the fastest growing economy in the country right now,” Noem told a town hall event at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, California, hosted by the Young America’s Foundation and The Conservative Digest. “Our GDP is 9.9%, in our state. I have thousands of people moving to South Dakota. Hundreds and hundreds of businesses are coming there.

“I don’t have an income tax. I don’t have a corporate income tax. I don’t have a personal property tax. All we have in South Dakota is a 4.5-cents sales tax. And we have historic revenues coming into our state. We are proving that conservative values, when implemented, work, and create opportunities.”

The 49-year-old Republican, often touted along with Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis as a possible 2024 GOP presidential candidate, took a lighthearted jab at her southern counterpart, noting that those coming to her state aren’t moving for the climate.

“People are moving to our state,” she told “Rob Schmitt Tonight” host Rob Schmitt, “not for our beaches, and our wonderful weather, but they are moving by the thousands because they recognize that they want a government that respects them. And that just creates an opportunity, doesn’t hand everything to them, doesn’t overspend. We have the only fully funded pension plan in the entire country in our state.

“And it’s because of good government: fiscal responsibility.”

Noem referred to her state generating enough revenue to “build a railroad,” presumably the $20 million allocated to refurbishing the Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern route between Fort Pierre and Rapid City, and fully funding high-speed Internet broadband service to the entire state as well as repairing dams and bridges.

“We in South Dakota are just going to be that example that what we believe as fiscal, conservative people really does work and helps you be much more successful for generations to come,” Noem said.

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