Sioux Falls Citizen Advocate asks great question about building permit valuations

Mark Weber is a regular inputer at council meetings, mostly on economic issues (I believe he has an economics degree). He recently sent this email to a city councilor;

For a long time (years) the finance department provides monthly graph of value of building permits, and a comparison to at least the previous couple of years.  I would be interested in knowing both the value and percentage of building permits that become part of the tax base, which would give a more realistic indicator, ie. projects of the city (public sector), non-profits (hospital), portion of private enterprise or public / private partnership that have been granted TIF.  I don’t believe any of this becomes part of the tax base (TIF’s eventually in 20 years).

Has anyone on the council already asked this question and I am unaware of the results?  I think this would be useful information to the taxpayers of Sioux Falls.

I have been an advocate for several years that when it comes to building permit valuations for the year it should be separated into categories, as Mark has suggested. Public projects and non-profits that don’t pay property taxes really can’t be put in the same basket. It was a way for city administrators to inflate numbers. Just look at the new Jefferson HS project. I can guarantee that we wouldn’t have even gotten close to last year’s record without it on the books. If they are paying NO property taxes (actually costing us), or are receiving rebates in the form of TIFs and BIDs how can it be a true economic indicator? It’s not, it’s just propaganda. I have asked the council for years to demand the administration break down the numbers and give a true representation.



2 comments ↓

#1 scott on 01.03.20 at 6:45 pm

as others have said here, you don’t need no book learnin’ to be a department head or director. perhaps the school district is applying the same principle to their search for substitutes and superintendent.

#2 Jean Claude on 01.06.20 at 4:21 pm

This whole issue is an interesting paradox for all. Because if you take the position that these TIF projects would not have existed, but for the TIFs, then you would think that the pro-TIFfers would want to divide them up, in order, to demonstrate the positive impacts of TIFs.

But if you take the position that these TIF projects would happen, TIF or not, then it is understandable as to why all of these projects are all just lumped together.

So in essence, by lumping them all together, our civic and political leaders are admitting that they would have all happen regardless of TIF, or not.

( – and Woodstock adds: “My last girlfriend was a Tiff and she was always trying to get something for free, and I am the one who usually ended up paying for it, too”….)

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