UPDATE: Sioux Falls Planning Commission passes TIF #23, 4-0

UPDATE: There has been some discussion today with my local government nerds on why the Planning Commission has 9 members but they rarely all show up. In fact, one member’s term was up last April and have not been replaced yet. In the last meeting only 4 members voted throughout the meeting even though 5 were present (the chair wasn’t voting) and over the past year it seems like only 5 members have been voting on things. Ideally you would say that you can only conduct business with a Quorum, 5 or more members, so what does it mean if only 4 votes. Robert’s Rules says this;

64. A Quorum of an assembly is such a number as must be present in order that business can be legally transacted. The quorum refers to the number present, not to the number voting. The quorum of a mass meeting is the number present at the time, as they constitute the membership at that time. The quorum of a body of delegates, unless the by-laws provide for a smaller quorum, is a majority of the number enrolled as attending the convention, not those appointed. The quorum of any other deliberative assembly with an enrolled membership (unless the by-laws provide for a smaller quorum) is a majority of all the members. In the case, however, of a society, like many religious ones, where there are no annual dues, and where membership is for life (unless it is transferred or the names are struck from the roll by a vote of the society) the register of members is not reliable as a list of the bona fide members of the society, and in many such societies it would be impossible to have present at a business meeting a majority of those enrolled as members. Where such societies have no by-law establishing a quorum, the quorum consists of those who attend the meeting, provided it is either a stated meeting or one that has been properly called.

So while having only 4 members vote out of a possible 9 is unfortunate, apparently it is legal, but I am still wondering why this body can’t get 9 people, even on the phone, together? Another sloppy move by this administration.

FF: 23:30

This occurred on Wednesday night and I forgot to attend for public input. Nobody else from the public showed up to speak against or for the TIF. This is unfortunate because it will literally raise property taxes on us $94 million over the next 15-20 years with $30 million of that as an ‘incentive’ slush fund. It is probably one of the most ludicrous TIFs I have ever seen.

What made it even more strange was there was very little discussion from the commission except that it was ‘good’. And besides the presentation from a planning department staffer, the representative from Development Foundation also said very little. It was pretty obvious this was pre-determined by the commission.

The other part about using $30 million of this for ‘business’ incentives also surprises me based purely on economics and development in Sioux Falls. Year after Year we are growing and year after year we are crushing building permit records. In fact we have a housing shortage and can’t keep up. So why do we have to ‘incentivize’ a business to come hereI recently saw that Tessiers (a South Dakota company from Mitchell) is building a new facility at Flopdation Park. Did they get any deals? Did they ask for any? Not sure, but I liked this quote from them;

“We thought that Foundation Park location would be ideal for us as we do business in the places on the I-90 and I-29 corridor,” said Gopal Vyas, who recently retired and was board chairman when the deal was done.

“Also it is easily accessible for our team members from Mitchell to commute when needed. It also is very convenient for our team members flying from Minnesota or driving on I-90 coming west.”

That is what often puzzles me when they ask for these TIFs, are they even needed to bring business here?


#1 Very Stable Genius on 02.05.21 at 10:03 pm

Did Tessiers pay $75,000 an acre, too, after the Development Foundation only paid $25,000 an acre?

#2 The Guy From Guernsey on 02.06.21 at 11:55 am

“… are they even needed to bring business here?”
Resoundingly, No!
Amazon is currently building in Fargo a distribution center almost identical in scale and timeline as project in Sioux Falls.
Amazon asked for no local tax breaks in Fargo.
They likely did not ask for any here either. But Bob Mundt and the rest of the socialists at the Development Foundation took it upon themselves to ask for TIF funding for Foundation Park based from Amazon’s project announcement –
” ‘cuz that’s the way we are open for bidness in SD.”
In North Dakota, Cass County, the school districts and the City of Fargo will all benefit on Day 1 from tax receipts representing the full value of the real estate taxes collected from the Amazon property.
In Sioux Falls, our socialist community of developers require that those funds be taken from future revenue streams to Minnehaha County and the Tri-Valley school district and placed in coffers available to the developers.

#3 The Guy From Guernsey on 02.06.21 at 1:07 pm

The MO of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation is to leverage a flow of government transfer payments (grants, loans, loan guarantees, TIF finance deals; aka socialism) from a “big announcement”.
You have to admit that those at the SF Development Foundation have traveled some distance to be able to lever a flow of $94 million of TIF money from the Amazon announcement, a project which fell into their lap by virtue of location of the city at the junction of two major interstate highways (sorry Kristi, PTH, Mr. Mundt – the simultaneous project near the Fargo airport and the junction of I-94 and I-29 indicates that Amazon had intentions to expand their footprint to specific areas).
This announcement and shake-down for government transfer payments stands in contrast to the early days of Foundation Park when the “big announcement” was that The Fruit Club and Logistics Buddy were to be anchor tenants at Foundation Park. That announcement only brought forward $11.3 million of state money.

#4 Very Stable Genius on 02.06.21 at 1:37 pm

Whatever happen to the “Save Main Street” movement? Didn’t we use that before the SCOTUS once?

#5 D@ily Spin on 02.06.21 at 1:57 pm

Giving away a hundred million during an economic slump and pandemic shows the city has become a developer crime syndicate. On Friday I witnessed a full north fairgrounds lot waiting hours for cheese. I say to the mayor and council; Have you no heart?

#6 FREEEEEEE!!!! on 02.08.21 at 2:54 pm

I know some very wealthy people that wait in that long line for free cheese, cause, well, it’s FREEEEEEE!!! I’m not saying to not do it, I’m just saying people do it just because it’s free and they can.

#7 The Guy From Guernsey on 02.09.21 at 3:55 pm

TIL – Bob Mundt, Craig Lloyd and Jeff Scherschligt ask for TIF welfare for the very same reason that a dog licks its balls.

It is long past time to place an Elizabethan collar on these guys … so they no longer “can”.