The city needs to eliminate TIF funding in 2016, once and for all

Isn’t it ironic while the school district asks for higher teacher pay, the city screams for another penny in sales taxes, and the county, well the county is just flat broke, they have no issue with handing out millions in TIF funding this past year.

You can’t help to notice in the news this week the city is boasting about $675 million in record building permits, and every developer, banker and his cousin are bragging up the record construction.

Which is all very fantastic, while my wallet size remains the same as my property taxes go up.

Doesn’t it seem pretty obvious with record construction (99.99% of it without TIF funding) and the need for additional property tax revenue, the time is now to put an end to TIFs? What is there purpose anymore? To spur development? To clean up blight? To help affordable housing options? Well the last two TIF’s were for luxury condos and workforce housing downtown (which is code for NOT affordable housing, but cheap enough for a working stiff to afford rent, paycheck to paycheck).

There may have been a time and space that TIF’s were needed to spur growth and development in this town, but at this point, it just seems like extreme overkill and corporate/developer welfare.

The developers will be just fine, have them experience the free market like the rest of us working stiffs, and pull the TIF funding program from the city’s charter once and for all.

 



5 comments ↓

#1 Taxpayer on 12.30.15 at 1:50 pm

TIFs were originally designed to help rehab blighted properties.

Several years ago,the State of South Dakota eliminated that requirement. Now, in most cases, TIFs in the City of Sioux Falls have become a form of Corporate Welfare which developers believe they are ENTITLED to. An idea aggressively promoted by Smith & Huether.

#2 l3wis on 12.30.15 at 3:07 pm

You are right, it seems if a developer wants to build downtown, no matter the condition of the property, they automatically go running for a TIF. It really has turned into an entitlement program.

I have no doubt utilities will have to be fixed when they start building the Washington Square, but that is no excuse to give them a TIF. Any project built in the city limits of Sioux Falls needs utility work and/or upgrades.

#3 grudznick on 12.30.15 at 5:56 pm

Mr. E, as you well know I often find myself more Libertarian than you in many areas and more Conservative than you in other areas. In this area, I say the TIFs need to go away and go away hard. No TIFs. No grants. No free money.

#4 Winston on 12.31.15 at 2:47 pm

Now now, just because a major developer has retired doesn’t make it right that we can now eliminate TIFS. I think up and coming developers should also be able to have their TIFS too from time to time….. Its only fair…..;-)

#5 The D@ily Spin on 12.31.15 at 3:34 pm

If there’s so much new construction, isn’t there more property and retail tax? Old TIF money is gone. It’s time to reorient the budget and deligate TIF money to pay down debt or focus on infrastructure.

Hints:
– There’s a new middle school that’s busing only because there’s no curb and gutter or sidewalks within 2 miles.
– There’s a bridge on 12th Street that’s condemned. A major street artery will soon be closed cutting off access to the hospitals and downtown.
– There’s not enough parking at the airport or new events center.