Does the Sioux Falls City Council already have the power to give property tax cuts?

As l learned on Wednesday there is probably going to be proposed legislation next year that could change TIFs to apply to residential housing. But does the city have to wait for Pierre to make a move?

I don’t think so.

There are already things the city has been doing or are planning on doing;

• A home buying program for police officers and firefighters

• The city can give property tax rebates to homeowners, I think the last mayor to do this city wide was Hanson

• The mayor gives yearly tax rebates to dozens of developers and big employers

• Community development loans either low interest or no interest and federal grants associated with the program

• Councilors Pat Starr and Curt Soehl are exploring elderly property tax rebates

The city council only likely has the power to rebate the city’s portion of the property tax, but over a period of 5-10 years, that is significant savings.

I don’t think the city has to wait for state law to change, I think they have the power right now to start a city property tax rebate program for people who want to buy a home in our core that needs rehabilitation, in fact they could have started this program 20 years ago if they wanted to.

I have been a proponent for over a decade that the city engages in a pilot program in our core that rehabs entire neighborhoods with a combination of public works (streets, sewer, water, lighting, sidewalks, curb and gutter) and individual property owners with fixing up their property with the use of Federal grants, community development loans and city property tax rebates.

So why doesn’t the city pursue this? I don’t have that answer, but if I had to guess it has to do with developer greed and the elite structure of leadership in our city.

So when someone tells you it is hard to rehab poorer neighborhoods in our city because of ‘laws’ I just don’t believe them. The city council in conjunction with the mayor’s office and planning department have all the tools they need to start on a pilot program like this, but their hatred of the working poor is getting in the way of their handouts to the welfare developers.


#1 D@ily Spin on 11.14.21 at 7:46 pm

Property tax relief is applied for at the Board of Equalization on 2nd floor of courthouse annex. It’s a county function but they comply with state candidate choices. Don’t give the city any decision for who is to qualify. There would be $3k/year forgiveness for 4 years to anyone who gives $1k for mayor or council campaigns. It’s bad enough that the city sells public property for pennies and awards a TIF for private indoor tennis. There’s a reason big brother overseas property tax. It’s common knowledge city leaders live and breath corruption.

#2 Mike Lee Zitterich on 11.15.21 at 4:22 pm

I was just thinking the same thing as Daily Spin, I am pretty sure anything to do with Property Tax Relief is subject to state law, and the city government just as the residents themselves would have to first apply with the County first, and the commissioners would have to discuss it. I do not think the City, even with home rule charter can legally discount someone’s property tax or grant a rebate alone. Property Tax is a direct tax set by the whole people of the State, and is governed by the State, while any rebates, or tax relief is directed to be heard at the county’s themselves. The County would have direct authority to provide relief, not the city. It is a State Tax, and the State keeps a firm control of the tax revenue and who may or may not get relief as per the rules set forth in statute.

#3 l3wis on 11.15.21 at 5:37 pm

The city can rebate ‘their’ portion of the property taxes. The mayors have done it for a long time to developers and businesses and Hanson did it to all the property owners under this charter. I remember Hanson cutting the checks and how controversial it was.

#4 D@ily Spin on 11.15.21 at 6:42 pm

Hanson was before Strong Mayor Charter when there was constitutional democracy. It was BC (before corruption). He was a better mayor because commissioners (then) had favorable control. The city paid property tax REBATES but the county collected the full assessment. With Bond Debt, TIF’s, giving away public property, and awarding overpriced contracts without competitive bid; property tax rebates are but another con to steal from a 500 million annual budget. Hanson didn’t have the skim from misappropriations and spending that mayors now have.

#5 Hanson? on 11.16.21 at 7:50 am

Hanson was the first mayor of the Charter form. When Munson was mayor the rebates went mostly for small time projects. When MMM found his pot of gold for scamming he gave it to the companies and supporters who donated their names to projects so MMM could brag about the community support for his scams. Now PTH is doing it for his favorites.

#6 David Zokaites on 11.16.21 at 8:54 am

Sounds like a great plan! We should make it all happen.
David Z for Mayor.

Scott, I don’t want to be too pushy with my comments in SouthDacola but people need to know I’m running for office. Hopefully you’re ok with me adding “David Z for Mayor” or some such thing to my comments.