Tax Incentives for Economic Development rarely pays off

Let’s look at some recent examples in Sioux Falls.

Uptown II; Taxpayers held the land for over 10 years collecting NO taxes for one developer, sold the land at a discount, gave them another 10-13 year tax break and in return we get an apartment building (that isn’t affordable housing) and a few parking spots for Levitt Pavilion.

Flopdation Park; State, County and City taxpayers will have spent over $30 million in infrastructure with only one tenant so far and NO signed agreements. And an employer that may provide 20 jobs at best for an Iowan Ice Cream factory.

Events Center; The building will cost taxpayers $180 million once paid for. While that may include the mortgage payments, it doesn’t include the yearly maintenance that comes from the same place as the mortgage payments, the CIP, a fund that is supposed to be for roads. While the EC may have a net operating gain, any of that ‘extra’ money doesn’t go to paying for the building or maintenance, it goes into a revolving fund that the management company uses. Than there is the supposed Economic Impact, since the EC has been open, tax revenue in Sioux Falls has actually gone down.

When you watch the latest episode of Last Week notice the part about the Fargo City Commission and how they approved a tax incentive for a company that was already moving there and said they didn’t need the tax incentive, the city commission approves it anyway. Sound familiar Sioux Falls?

But hey, without all these great amenities in Sioux Falls the rich millionaire doctors wouldn’t be moving here and building pools.


#1 The D@ily Spin on 11.06.17 at 3:59 pm

We can’t stop the carpetbaggers from getting rich from our taxes. When it’s not a politicians or developers money they spend it freely and foolishly. Local government is no longer democratic. We are denied voting on large expenditures. Petitions with 6400 signatures are ignored. The best we can do is cheat on our taxes. I barter or shop on the internet and often buy food and clothing from Minnesota. There will be a time in the future when regular purchases will be untaxable digital currency instead of money or bank cards.

#2 Emoluments Clause on 11.06.17 at 4:01 pm

Thanks for posting this!!! I just saw this last night too and immediately thought of TIFs and SouthDacola.

And when it comes to TIFs, do we currently have a credible and working definition of what is “blight?” And without one, how can we honestly issue any TIFs?

If the toxicity is the issue, or “blight qualifier” with the Sioux Falls property that you mentioned above, then why and how were we able to grow grass on it for the last 10+ years and also allow children to frolic on it on their way to the Falls?

“Where’s the Beef, I mean Blight?!!”