UPDATE: Sioux Steel Development wants to get a TIF, as we suspected

UPDATE: You will see in the Planning Commission Working Session on December 3, they are already going to be talking about the TIF for the Sioux Steel Development. They will try to ramrod this TIF through as fast as they can before anyone notices what is going on.

I will stick with my main four arguments against this TIF;

• Free Enterprise and Capitalism. I think this development will do just fine with private investment and doesn’t need any tax rebates. It is just corporate welfare.

• The development is already going to receive around $10 million in tax payer subsidies from the River Greenway upgrades.

• Sioux Steel is moving all of their operations out of Sioux Falls to Lennox and replacing those good manufacturing jobs with low paying hospitality jobs.

• TIFs have yet to be proven they improve the overall economy of Sioux Falls. Oh, sure, they help the bottom line of the developer, but NO comprehensive study has ever been done in Sioux Falls showing TIFs pay for themselves in economic impact or workforce development. All they really do is raise taxes on the rest of us.

It will be interesting to hear the arguments as to why they need this TIF. It also will be interesting to hear how they are building a parking ramp twice the size of the bunker ramp for the same price.

The rumors were true, the Sioux Steel development is asking for $21.5 million in a TIF for their project they are coordinating with Lloyd Companies. They say it will be used to offset the costs of an 8 story parking ramp with over 900 stalls. Interesting they can build a parking ramp twice the size of our bunker ramp for the same price.

This is the area we should have put the bunker ramp to begin with. So now they want a tax rebate to build a parking ramp when we will have an empty one sitting downtown.

And isn’t the timing of this project also interesting? Suddenly the city didn’t want to work with Lamont so they breached the contract and now ‘another’ hotel is being announced DTSF that wants a tax rebate to build a parking ramp. And isn’t it interesting that the Mayor’s COS used to work for the developer who is working on the project and is considered an expert in writing TIFs?

As for the TIF, you know my feelings on them. They have yet to prove that the TIFs that already exist in Sioux Falls or ones we may grant have ever helped our economy. They have certainly done one thing, raised property taxes on the rest of us. And every time I have asked to show evidence all I hear is crickets. Even if I was for TIFs, I would certainly question why this development needs one? We are already going to invest $10 million in the river greenway along this development (essentially paying for their riverside landscaping and curb appeal, walkways and bike trail upgrades).

But the biggest reason we should oppose the TIF is that Sioux Steel will probably be moving all of their Sioux Falls operations to Lennox and NOT relocating in Sioux Falls. Why would we reward them with a TIF as they are taking their manufacturing business elsewhere and replacing it with low paying hospitality jobs?

Of course, most of the council will support this, and probably will give us NO evidence that TIFs work. That’s because the evidence doesn’t exist.


#1 Joe on 11.25.19 at 8:58 pm

It wasn’t really a rumor when Lloyd Cos and the city administration were up front about a TIF being a part of the plans from the start. The Argus reported that last spring.

#2 Warren Phear on 11.25.19 at 9:05 pm

This just in!!!! The early line is 5-3 for the tif.

#3 SL on 11.26.19 at 4:52 am

I can already hear their little speeches on how it should be passed, how it’s great for the community and the downtown area. It seems that this administration concentrates on kissing the backside of developers and the taxpayers are pushed aside.

#4 l3wis on 11.26.19 at 7:31 am

Joe, Good Job! The gold stars are in the mail. Hopefully someone will be in your office to accept the mail 🙂

#5 D@ily Spin on 11.26.19 at 7:59 am

The city is obsessed with high rise parking ramps. We don’t need another place for addicts to shoot up and trip. How about a pyramid? Then it’s still a waste but a tourist attraction and there’d be plenty of parking.

#6 Erica on 11.26.19 at 9:48 am

No worries. Apparently the home property taxpayers have an unlimited amount of wealth since we are the ones who always are asked to keep forking over more cash. Maybe the City should enroll into some fiscal responsibility courses and learn how to prioritize and budget better.

If businesses cant move into the city without constant breaks on the taxpayers backs needed to prop them up then maybe it isnt the time for businesses to start up in the area.

#7 Tiffy Tiffy and Toodaloo! on 11.26.19 at 10:18 am

Lloyd almost never invests long-term cash in these projects. If the company does invest it is for only the amount of the TIF. When they cash out, the company retains the management fees and future development work as they leave with no ownership and the TIF cash is theirs.

#8 "Very Stable Genius" on 11.26.19 at 11:23 am

It’s a beautiful development proposal, in terms of its aesthetics, but who is it for? In a town, where too many do not make enough, where a majority of our students are on reduced lunches, who will park here, who will live here, and who will stay at the hotel?

I was hoping they would keep most of the light factory there and turn it into an open market. That factory is a classic early 20th century light factory structure, which is reminiscent of a factory one would place on a HO train set. No I am serious. We tear too much down in this town and country and we need to preserve more.

With property taxes having recently gone up to educate students, who are for the most part on reduced lunches, can we really afford such a TIF and do we need such a project which will further tax citizens directly or indirectly?

#9 Desperately Seeking Seney Island on 11.26.19 at 3:07 pm

What about Seney Island, shouldn’t we use this opportunity to reclaim it? Instead of a five star hotel, perhaps, a final canoe stop and warning on the new reclaimed island before the Falls would be more appropriate.

As far as the TIF, well, let’s not forget what Councilwoman Erickson said back in 2018, when she claimed that the state makes up any money lost to a TIF for a school district…. (Bahahahahahaha!)

( – and Woodstock adds: “Say, does tornado blight qualify for a TIF?”….. (“I am surprised Erickson hasn’t asked for an AirBnB TIF.”))

#10 Conservative Here on 11.26.19 at 3:18 pm

I am all for letting them build what that want but, No TIF. I don’t think government should subsidize anything really. If its worth the money to build use your own funds and I say have at it but, if you need a tax break probably not a good idea. Same old same old, we only focus on 2 groups of people in this country, the rich and the poor. Both are getting subsidized and we are paying for it and neither should get it in my opinion.

#11 "Woodstock" on 11.26.19 at 11:29 pm

“‘ramrod?'”….”You know what that means, that means they want to blank us hard and fast”…..(“Just how many ramps does a town need?”….”I mean, wouldn’t a successful and growing on-demand busing system reduce car use in the future?”….(“Have you ever been to Sioux Falls?”….”Yah, we toured their multiple auto ramps before checking-out the Falls and Arcs, too.”))…..

#12 rufusx on 11.27.19 at 10:50 am

Meanwhile, Lennox welcomes more Sioux Steel to town (about half the operation is already there) by agreeing to IGNORE city ordinances requiring pavement and fencing for storage/warehouse facilities’ parking and maneuvering areas, temporary structures and height maximums for permanent structures.

#13 anominous on 11.27.19 at 11:54 am

if their is a airport runway they will find a hotel to build under it in this town. here now that paul erickson is pled guilty to only some comfy pardonable dudley-squat count of fraud and money laundering it is high tiem USA took back her true ginger look purina stoled from Tiffany


#14 The only one not on meth. on 11.27.19 at 12:18 pm

Sioux Falls: “Great Faces. Great Ramps.”

#15 Sadinsf on 11.27.19 at 3:28 pm

It’s funny that we can give millions to businesses to heighten their profits. But can’t fund affordable housing for low income people that are working for the corporations that have their hand out all the time.

#16 LJL on 11.27.19 at 6:52 pm

I will say it again, TIFS should be left to the voter to decide.

#17 South Sider and proud of it because I did it all on my own on 11.27.19 at 9:22 pm

I realize that free and reduced is a big deal but would like someone to actually report on the correct percentage of kids that qualify. It is incorrect to say ” 50% of Sioux Falls children qualfy”… It is actually 50% of Sioux Falls School District kids. Harrisburg, Brandon Valley, Tea, and West Central all have students in the city of Sioux Falls and they should be included in the number. I am guessing it is more like 30% of all Sioux Falls ( city) kids.

#18 anominous on 11.27.19 at 10:29 pm

only a matter of time before someone points out lloyd sold all their local apartment complexes to a florida outfit and thus has a lot of cash to spend on big commerical deals like this. but pleeeeese, can we get a tiff for our coffee shoppe?

#19 "Woodstock" on 11.27.19 at 11:44 pm

“Oh good, it’s only 30%!”…..”That makes me much happier” ….”It’s like a tornado, which only destroys 30% of a town, instead of 50%”….. #NowICanRelax

“Oh, and does, ‘I did it all on my own,’ mean you painted your house taupe by yourself, too?”