The smoke machine at city hall is in full burn this afternoon;
Today, City officials announced a fifth consecutive record-breaking year of construction values. The construction valuation for building permits issued by Building Services in 2017 reached $720,369,333 by 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 13. Last year’s record (2016) was $701.9 million, and the previous record set in 2015 was $676.3 million. 2014’s total was $619.5 million, and the total in 2013 was $588.2 million.
â€œThe confidence, the momentum and yes, the record breakers just keep growing, and I can’t thank the builders, investors and dreamers enough for making it happen. Look what you’re accomplishing, Sioux Falls!â€ says Mayor Mike Huether.
But does it really matter, at least for the rest of us working stiffs? Think about it. In the last five years while the records keep breaking (obviously due to population growth) what does it mean for us?
Like the lie Washington DC tries to sell us every year since Reagan was president, trickle down economics just doesn’t work. Since this was first proposed by Ronnie, wages have stagnated, unions continue to disintegrate, the gap between rich and poor grows wider, poverty is at an all time high and the middle class will be gone within a decade or sooner.
Why doesn’t it work? Besides the mountains of evidence, the facts remain the same. The rich don’t re-invest their savings in taxes and tax incentives into jobs or higher wages, they simply just stuff it away.
But let’s look at this locally. While city hall has gone into ramrod mode with TIF’s, tax incentives and handouts to local developers (because they are suffering so much, just look at the building records we are breaking each year) has it really affected ‘growth’ in our pocket books? Nope. Because whether you look nationally or locally, trickle down does not work.
1. Wages are still low in Sioux Falls. Wage collusion runs amuck.
2. Food Banks continue to grow at a record rate.
3. Besides drug crimes, domestic violence continues to soar in Sioux Falls. One of the number one things couples argue about? Money.
4. Even with a new events center, sales tax revenue continues to be stagnate.
5. Even with all the record building in housing, affordable and even working class housing continues to elude us.
So while I am glad developers, builders, investors (which include our mayor)Â and bankstersÂ are making oodles of money, it really isn’t reflective of our total economic picture in Sioux Falls. But let’s not talk about it, because that would be negative and sinister.
*Over $40 Million in permits were city projects (public). I have often questioned whether city/public projects should count.