Minnehaha County Commissioner Dean ‘Chamber’ Karsky defends TIFs

During the open discussion of the Minnehaha County Commission Meeting on Tuesday (FF:42:15) dean defended TIFs like they were his children. It started when Barth wanted to explain further his position in the newspaper.

Jeff said he wasn’t opposed to TIFs but wished the County Commission could make an independent decision about forgoing their share of tax money instead of the city just making that decision for them.

Dean, being the good Chamber of Commerce brown nosed soldier he is couldn’t let Jeff’s comments stand.

Dean started by peddling the half-truth that TIF’s ‘Don’t take away anything (from the county) because as he put it, “You can’t take away something you don’t have.” Well, Dean, maybe I should tell Pam Nelson that the next time I refuse to pay my property tax bill.

He went on to say he thinks TIF’s are a wonderful development tool AND incentive (yes, wonderful to the developer who gets a 13-14 year property tax break*) Does Lloyd who owns thousands of apartment units and pays more property taxes than anyone else in the County really need an ‘incentive’ to the develop? Is the company that destitute? Dean also claims that we don’t buy them the land. No, but with the Lloyd TIF we are really just giving it away. The TIF is $4.1 Million, soil cleanup is $3.1 million and the purchase price is around $900K. The way I look at it, they are getting the land for free.

Jeff responds to Dean that the city is pretty much ‘giving away’ the property (as I have pointed out) he also points out that if the city has these kind of assets/funds to give away, they could have cleaned up the soil themselves at their cost (as I have also pointed out in the past). Jeff sums up TIF’s by saying, “Tools that belong to the city that spite our interest.”

*It’s actually almost 25 years when you consider this property was supposed to be bought and developed by Lloyd over 10 years ago, instead the taxpayers of Sioux Falls sat on this land, collecting ZERO property taxes from it and essentially holding it for the Lloyd Companies. How would you like a 25 year property tax break? Think of all the upgrades you could do to your home?



5 comments ↓

#1 My Mistake Mike on 09.14.17 at 10:04 am

One of your better nicknames!!

#2 Emoluments Clause on 09.14.17 at 1:32 pm

How is the most recent Lloyd development on the Phillips “Road to the Falls,” which will be receiving a TIF, found in an area designated as a “blight” area? How is going from a junk yard to a grassly knoll, blight? How can blight only exist within a given city block, but not be across a street? How miraculous is that? How can a development company that plans to build on what will have a worth of $ 175,000,000, after it is developed, not be able to afford the $ 4.1 million up front it will take to bring this property up to snuff on its own? Why can’t Lloyd pay the $ 4.1 million bill? I find it hard to believe that Lloyd, a very successful development company in this town, would not develop this property without a TIF. Especially, when the development will be a win for the developer and the City, because the property values are suppose to go up from $ 8200 a year to $ 480,000 a year once completed. This whole thing is purely corporate welfare at best…. Maybe we should start giving TIFs to everyone as they improve their humble homes to negate the remodeling costs and help boost property values across the board in this town as well…. It would only be fair.

And here is the other kicker, a TIF must be justified because it is in a designated area defined as “blight.” But in the City’s Powerpoint display the other night, the “blight” claim was found on a separate bullet point than the acknowledgement that the soil on that property is challenged and thus toxic due to a former junk yard having been there. So the City’s own presentation admits that the toxicity issue of that property does not fulfill the “blight” requirement, so what does, the existence of a grassy knoll? And how come, before acquiring that property, the City didn’t require the former property owner to clean up the toxicity of the soil on the property? And where were the Feds? Were they informed? Is not this property in violation of Federal laws and regulations under EPA rules and or Super Fund statutes?

#3 Emoluments Clause on 09.14.17 at 3:27 pm

One more rant…. 😉

Councilwoman Erickson did a really good job dispelling the negative rumors about TIFs on the Council the other night, especially the one about how TIFS reduce funds for school districts. Erickson assured us that there is a state law to offset any losses a local school district might incur due to a TIF – that the State recognizes TIFs and makes up the difference to school districts in addition to their other state funds to education. And she made this assurance with great pride, which I found quite ironic. Because it was just a few years ago, when an other former conservative state legislator, Kermit Staggers, was on the Council and current conservative state legislator, Greg Jamison, who was on the Council with Staggers at the time expounded the belief that maybe the City should not take FEMA emergency funds to help the City clean up after the April 2013 ice storm. But apparently now, conservative leaders, like Councilwomen Erickson, have no problem in having other governments higher up bail us out as a City when it comes to our own fate or decisions, and especially decisions of our own design.

Much has been made that the County cannot control the decisions a city makes in terms of TIFs and how they impact the country without any say too, but what about the person out in Harding County, some 400 miles a way, that now finds that their state tax dollars go to help fund TIFS, or their impact, in other parts of the state without any say in whether the TIF will exist? Or, how about how, with the current property being considered for a TIF, that for about 10 years the State will be paying our school district roughly $ 5300 a year more to offset the initial tax revenue loss due to that TIF, isn’t that $ 5300 a year that is already needed for education in this state with or without a TIF?…. And what happen to conservative values of taxation only with representation, are the citizens of Harding County represented on our City Council? Because I know our Council is taxing them with or without their representation….

#4 LINDA on 09.15.17 at 12:18 am

Some one tell me how Erickson is conservative? Do tell. Is that like Huether being democrat/independent or McCain being Republican/traitor?

#5 Emoluments Clause on 09.15.17 at 12:30 pm

LINDA, I was just giving her the benefit of the doubt, since she is a Republican….. 😉 Aren’t all Republicans “Conservatives,” though?…. (Well, maybe in name only….)

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