Entries Tagged 'Taxes' ↓

City Plans to tap Entertainment Tax slush fund for SF Stadium and SMG

Looks like SMG isn’t happy enough with padding their pockets with the Orpheum, the Arena and The Denny, they now want a piece of the pie at Sioux Falls (Canaries) Stadium, and with the slush fund called the entertainment tax they see dollar signs. As we know, with the EC, they get paid, the entertainers get paid, the promoters get paid and concessions manager Ovations gets paid while the taxpayers are stuck with the maintenance and mortgage that is well over $10 million a year.

Another scam that just sends more money straight out the door of our community while not helping to pay the REAL bills.

Just look at the budget boost from 2017-2018.

More concerns about a possible multi-million dollar TIF to developer

As I have mentioned before, with Sioux Falls School District recently passing a $50 million dollar opt-out and the plans for a possible $30 million dollar bond for a new HS this is the WRONG time to be handing out property tax discounts in the form of TIF’s to wealthy, successful developers. Not to mention all the issues with open enrollment causing widespread segregation and almost half of Sioux Falls students on FREE or reduced lunches.

Here are a few more reasons;

• The county is struggling to make ends meet with rising crime while building a new jail.

• Developers, especially one of the largest in the city, having been doing very well for a long time, especially with record breaking building permits, do they really need tax discounts or breaks to be successful? Shouldn’t we be focusing tax incentives on affordable and workforce housing and not retail and luxury lofts?

• The state is in the midst of considering some rule changes when it comes to giving so much power to municipalities concerning TIF’s. Expect some legislation in the upcoming 2018 session. Not only does the county and school district want a bigger say in these matters, so does the state.

• There are numerous conflicts of interest on the council. Besides Councilor Marshall Selberg being an independent contractor for Lloyd Companies, the mayor and some of the others have received campaign donations from Lloyd. Starr, Neitzert and Stehly seem to be the only candidates who have not. You can’t hardly vote on a $43 million dollar project with a TIF incentive with only 3 votes.

There are way to many conflicts of interest here for the council to even consider a TIF incentive. I think approving the project is fine, but when it concerns a tax discount, that should be taken off the table.

Garth Brooks sellout is a perfect opportunity to give us the real numbers

It didn’t take long for the usual mouthpieces to come out talking about the economic impact of the Garth Shows, which is no surprise;

Teri Schmidt, executive director of the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau, said anytime a concert sells out it means an infusion of money to bars, restaurants, hotels and gas stations in the city. But a household name that draws people from all over the country like Brooks raises the bar even further.

“Even if we said the average person would spend an average of about $100, that’s another $4.5 million in economic impact — just in a blink of an eye,” she said. “Throw in the possibility of an overnight stay, going out to eat, maybe they do a little shopping, fill up their car with gas — it’s going to be a great week in Sioux Falls.”

That’s good news also for local governments that find themselves dealing with sluggish sales tax revenues.

Which comes to about $135,000 in sales taxes to the city coffers (if you count all 3 pennies the city takes in). But let’s say everyone spends double that, that’s a whopping $270,000.

I won’t dwell on that.

As I have said all along, I would like to know the amount of money that is spent at the Denny (not at other businesses citywide) that leaves town. In other words how much goes to Garth, SMG and Ovations, and how much of that gets recirculated in Sioux Falls?

People have argued with me that the Denny is bringing in MORE money to the community, yet;

1) The city and SMG won’t show us the actual sales numbers AND

2) sales tax revenue has been slowly declining in SF since the Denny opened YET most shows are sellouts.

With all the additional sales at the Denny and people coming to Sioux Falls for this extra entertainment, why haven’t we been seeing a boom in sales tax growth?

You know I know the answer why, but will the city have the nads to admit it?

Tax OPT-OUT fails to get enough signatures

I knew it was going to be a rough road getting that many signatures in a short period of time. I think they lacked the manpower to get it done. Not sure how many they were short, but after talking to a couple different people from the drive and associates it looks like they came up about 1,000 short (which ironically means they got about as many signatures as the number of people who voted in the last school board election) So I guess we are stuck with paying the $50 million dollar ‘SINISTER’ tax.

I also got thinking about the statement from the school board that they wouldn’t spend the entire tax, and that’s all fine and dandy, but they still have to ‘collect’ the tax. So does that mean at the end of the year, what they don’t spend will be refunded back to us?


In other words, even if they don’t spend it, it still gets collected and goes into investments. At least the school district will not only be able to retain teachers they will keep some stock brokers in Sioux Falls employed. Now shut up, go pay your higher taxes on food so we can retain teachers who teach kids on FREE and reduced lunches. Makes sense? Right?

Soccer Tournament Economic Impact? The Proof is in the Pudding.

We will have to wait until the City of Sioux Falls June finance report comes out before we know the actual impact of the Soccer tournament to the sales tax rolls. The ‘CLAIM’ by the organizers and CVB is a $17 million dollar impact which boils down to about $480,000 for the city tax rolls (this is counting the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Penny entertainment tax BUT not the state’s 2 penny cut) which would be a $160K bump to each penny that we would not have normally seen the year before. Since the numbers have been running a little flat to under what it was last year, this bump should be noticeable.

As I have also argued the city probably kicked in about $20-40K in resources to help support the tournament in traffic control and park maintenance.

We’ll see if the $17 million dollar guestimate holds any water really soon.

Don’t forget to sign the petition this 4th of July

As I understand it, the petitioners will be at Falls Park collecting signatures for tax opt-out on 4th of July. So celebrate America, FREE pork sandwiches, and your right to petition your government.

Petition Signing Drive Through – Stop the Property Tax Increase!

Drive through to sign the petition to put the School Board’s 50 MILLION dollar property tax hike up for a vote! We will be there all day Saturday 9 AM – 5 PM and from 1 PM to 4 PM on Sunday July 2nd. Turn in the petitions you are circulating! Notary present.

Located in the same place you pay your property taxes! Parking lot of the Minnehaha county administration on Minnesota Ave and 6th Street.

TIFilicious Returns to Sioux Falls?

I wonder which developer now is looking for some corporate welfare? Maybe to build 44 condos this time instead of 22? So much for affordable housing;

The briefing will consist of the items on the upcoming July 6 Commission meeting agenda, and then the members will adjourn to discuss a Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) District with the staff.

This outta be good . . .

The Next Mayor of Sioux Falls will have NO choice but to be a miser

You can agree or disagree with the reasons why tax revenue is down in Sioux Falls;

Turbak says there are two main reasons the sales tax collections are down: First, because of continued growth of online sales where the City can’t collect sales taxes and because farmer spending is down.

While I agree they are TWO factors, I truly believe the number one factor is just spending in general, people have cut back. You also have to take into account that much of the city population growth last year occurred in woman’s wombs – we had a lot of new borns. They don’t work and they don’t spend money and more then likely, they are born to lower income families who get food on assistance and don’t pay for it. We can blame farmers and online sales all we want, but we also have to look at reality. If farmers are not spending money, maybe the rest of us are not either.

The next mayor is going to have to be very stingy, not only because of Mayor Play Palaces bonding spree which ties us to millions in mortgage and maintenance costs each year but because the revenue stream is low.

There are QUICK policy changes the next mayor can implement in the first 90 days;

• Cut most of the mid-managers. We pay most of the directors and sub-directors 6-figures a year, there is no reason they need managers below them doing their jobs for $70-80K a year. I would probably cut them from most of the departments saving the city millions in our 1st penny for operations.

• Focus the 2nd penny on infrastructure (mostly roads) and parks land maintenance and cut any unneeded programs for at least two-years.

• As for our enterprise funds, which support sewer and water, any new corporations coming into Sioux Falls should help share at least 50% of the cost of infrastructure costs and upgrades.

Like I said, the next mayor, whether they are socially liberal or conservative will have no choice but to be a fiscal conservative when it comes to city finances. We have to fix the last mayor racking up the parents credit card.

The obvious is staring them in the eyes