UPDATE: Minnehaha County Commission has NO objects to Lloyd TIF

Erica Beck from Lloyd Companies with taxpayer compensated Dustin Powers (filled in for Brent) from the City of Sioux Falls did a presentation today to the Minnehaha County Commission about the proposed $4.4 million dollar TIF. (FF to 46:00)

Lloyd Companies is saying they need the TIF for cleanup. But, that is kind of a stretch. Whether they need to clean up contaminated soil OR not, they still have to dig a hole for a parking garage. Instead of the TIF for cleanup, I have suggested FREE tipping fees for the project – the entire project. This wouldn’t cost the taxpayers much and we would still be able to receive full property taxes (approximately $450,000 a year) instead of $8,000 a year for approximately the next 13 years (Life of TIF).

My other suggestion would be for the city to actually contract the removal of the contaminated soil before turning over the land. There would probably be some Federal EPA grants to do this.

Lloyd Companies is maintaining they NEED this TIF to do the project. I find this a little hard to swallow.

Not only did the County Commission NOT object to the project and TIF, commissioner Dean Karsky had to inform the public that Lloyd Companies are the largest property tax payer in the county. I’m not even sure how this equates to being able to get a tax discount. What this tells me is that they have attained an enormous amount of wealth and property, and can certainly float this $44 million dollar project without this corporate welfare. It’s like saying Bill Gates deserves to eat a free meal at the Banquet everyday because he has attained so much wealth.

Once again Karsky defends who butters his bread, the Chamber and their esteemed members.



11 comments ↓

#1 The D@ily Spin on 08.30.17 at 9:42 am

No doubt the county (like the city) has learned to cuddle with a single developer. What we should notice is our taxes are higher because of TIF handouts. I worry when the county ignores rural infrastructure while favoring city projects. Karsky was a city councilor, student of Huether, and owned by Lloyd. When the city goes broke, time to rob the county. If a man steals milk for the baby, he gets 10 years in jail. When a politician and developer steal 4.4 million, they get a pat on the back.

#2 l3wis on 08.30.17 at 1:58 pm

UPDATE: After watching the video, Beck admits $2.9 million will go towards soil remediation, and the other $1.5 million goes towards an old tank and asbestos removal. I guess the city is ALSO on the hook to remove some other old buildings ON top of the TIF. It’s beginning to smell more fishy each day.

#3 hornguy on 08.30.17 at 2:40 pm

I appreciate not everyone agrees with TIF, but it’s also important to note that the argument that “taxes are higher because of TIF handouts” is entirely specious.

The underpinning of that argument is that development of equal value could have happened at the same time absent the use of TIF. TIF allocates future increment to pay for remediation. But if nothing happens on that property, then the new value from which the increment is generated never materializes.

I get that many of you hate the funding mechanism and think it’s nothing more than a developer kickback. That’s cool.

But as someone who works in this field, just know that pretty much everyone else – non-profit and for-profit developers, housing agencies, elected officials, the whole nine yards – has decided that because there is a decidedly public interest in remediation, that taxpayers should pay for it.

(Ideally, the prior property owner should probably pay for it, but in most instances, they’re not in any financial position to do so. Most of the time these properties have been abandoned.)

The alternative to TIF is usually state or local grants, which are sometimes available and sometimes not. The State of Minnesota, for instance, provides about $8 million a year in contamination cleanup and investigation grants. The EPA provides ARC grants (Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup) for a similar purpose.

But state and federal grants are highly competitive and rarely cover the full cost of remediation. And developers (and cities) are often not content to hang out and wait to see if they can get, let’s say, a third of what they need to fund remediation through a competitive process, especially when they have a local tool they can use to fund the cost and gets the shovels in the ground on a predictable timetable.

Also, and this may be a spoiler alert, but you know who funds all those grant programs? Yeah, that’s right. Taxpayers.

#4 taxpayer on 08.30.17 at 3:22 pm

Question for Jennifer Kirby, Mike Crane and Tom Dempster:

The 4.4m for cleanup of the old Pitts Selvage Yard is for the west side of Phillips Avenue only.

Does this mean the east side of the same street where the Levitt Pavilion is proposed will also require the same from the taxpayers?

#5 l3wis on 08.30.17 at 4:33 pm

HG, there are a lot of details you don’t know about this project. One that taxpayer brings up. I guess there will be a parking overflow lot built on the west side for the project, and Lloyd’s justification is that since people will be using it for the Levitt the city should give this TIF.

I also heard a rumor that Cherapa is planning to build Part II and they want a TIF. Which is strange because all the clean up work has already been done at that site when they tore down the Zip tower.

#6 Emoluments Clause on 08.30.17 at 9:23 pm

Why are TIFS in vogue again? Do they think we have forgotten?

#7 l3wis on 08.30.17 at 10:46 pm

EC, that is what is ironic, for a long time MMM was against TIFs now all sudden he is on board.

#8 CommonSenseSD on 08.31.17 at 8:26 am

http://www.keloland.com/news/article/other/examining-the-citys-cost-of-cleaning-up-pitts-salvage

#9 anonymous on 08.31.17 at 9:25 am

Taken from the previous link (2001):

City officials don’t expect any environmental sticker shock. The city spent more than four-million dollars to clean up coal sludge at Fawick Park. Seten says the cleanup costs at Pitts should be far below that amount.

Lloyd is asking for 4.4m for cleanup of only a portion of the west side of Phillips Avenue. BTW, did he rec a TIF (or other taxpayer assistance) for his property just to the south of this location?

Also, I was at the Park Board meeting when a member of the Levitt family told the board he had never seen a site as contaminated as the Falls Park West site (which is the east side of Phillips Avenue where the proposed pavilion may be built).

#10 anonymous on 08.31.17 at 9:41 am

Question:

Do I understand correctly that Lloyd is proposing a ‘shared’ parking lot on public park land (Falls Park West)?

So, if I want to visit a public park (which the Park Board refers to as the Crown Jewel of the SF park system) I will be competing for a parking spot with those who are shopping and living at Lloyd’s property across the street!!

#11 The D@ily Spin on 08.31.17 at 10:44 am

Anonymous, where can I get one of those white opera masks and a black cape?

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