UPDATE: TIFs and Loans for Home Improvement, better late than never!

The City Council is getting a presentation on Tuesday about the proposal;

Imagine my surprise after over a decade of me pleading with any city councilor or mayor that would listen, the city is exploring a plan to give no interest loans from $10-$30K for home improvement in the core (notice there is NO agenda or minutes from the October meeting. Was it cancelled?) From the Argus;

The Accessible Housing Advisory Board (AHAB) met earlier this month to discuss a housing action plan policy using Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to help alleviate housing costs in the coming years.

Usually, a TIF incentivizes developers to construct buildings and make other private investments on sites that without TIF funding would otherwise not be developed, according to Family Housing Fund, a housing information group in Minnesota. The TIF would mean long-term investment in certain neighborhoods and properties.

Recommendations coming out of the board, which brings together community stakeholders in Sioux Falls’ housing sector, will eventually move to city council for final approval and implementation of housing solutions in the following months.

Homes considered for the TIF consideration and given priority for public housing help would include homes built before 1980 in the core of the city, which is bordered by Marion Road, 49th Street, Sycamore Avenue and 60th Street North.

Ironically the city admits that we have a lot of low wage jobs in this town, and more coming;

Part of the proposal also included a rental repair loan option, which would offer $10,000 per unit at five years, no-interest. In addition, homeowners could apply for up to $30,000 in no-interest, deferrable loans to repair their own homes to increase their value.

“It’s a great thing to offer as there’s still people living paycheck-to-paycheck and not able to keep their properties up,” said Brent Tucker, director of housing development for Affordable Housing Solutions.

Tucker said public to private funds help ease the burden of home costs, though the loans do come with heavy stipulations.

“To truly create affordable housing, we all need to work together, especially with Amazon, CJ Foods and others,” Tucker said. “Since they’ll bring in those folks who will make 80% of median income.”

Mr. Tucker is an awesome city employee, he helped me with a community development loan around 15 years ago and walked me through the process and was very helpful. I will warn people who apply, you have to do a lot of the leg work yourself, but it is well worth it. Getting an interest free loan to repair your home isn’t FREE money, but it kind of is. You can also apply the payment of the loan when you sell so you may not have to make any short term payments. If they factor in TIFs, you will also get tax rebates for home repairs.

While I could certainly go on a rant that this could have been done 2 decades ago (community development loans have been around for a long time, but there really isn’t a strong marketing push to get them), at least they are moving in the right direction now. I would suggest that the city hires some part-time people, like retirees to knock on the doors in neighborhoods that could use this program and help them with the initial application. There has to be outreach for this to work. The city will also have to pony up with curb and gutter, street repairs, water and sewer and updating street lights.

We will see how this plays out. Cross your fingers.


#1 D@ily Spin on 12.11.21 at 10:54 am

Never gonna happen. TIF’s have gotten attention for corruption and individual favors. Talk like this helps government sound better.

#2 Very Stable Genius on 12.11.21 at 12:26 pm

There aren’t enough affordable homes in this town, which are presentable. So our city leaders have finally come around to this idea. The impetus here is not help citizens, but to help developers by giving them more affordable homes to market for the influx of new residents to our town due to the growth, which developers are responsible for, but without the corresponding affordable homes and decent wages on their part, however.

( and Woodstock adds: “You know what Rachel says: ‘Watch what they do and not what they say'”…. )

#3 Hooterville's Boutique Grocer on 12.11.21 at 11:09 pm

Medicare for all, TIFS for all, booster shots for all, what will all of this lead to? Noem has a bunch of money to give out (Must be an election year.) as well. It must be Christmas. Even Thune voted to raise the debt ceiling. What’s going on here? Has socialism become the new vogue, or are the masses finally being allowed to partake in what the rich have been doing for sometime? #sapitalism

#4 Watching from the Deep South on 12.12.21 at 10:23 am

Haha, must be an election cycle upcoming. Obvious fodder for the peasants.

#5 D@ily Spin on 12.12.21 at 12:09 pm

It’s just talk. More propaganda to appease the working class and impress voters. Investing in older homes is foolish. To expensive to replace old wiring, plumbing, and plaster. If anything, buy and demolish older areas. The lot has value for a new home. The city needs a program before there’s a mass migration into neighboring suburb new construction. Otherwise, the future will be blight with inferior infrastructure.

#6 l3wis on 12.12.21 at 12:55 pm

Deep South, I couldn’t agree more. Just a little more than 4 months away from an election and over a decade of me preaching about this program and NOW is when they decided to do this. Clever. Paul and the City Council should have started to put a plan in place 3 years ago instead of right before the election. I guarantee that if nothing solid is put in place by ordinance before April this project will fizzle away right after the election. What they (developers) really want to do is for the city to pay the cost of bulldozing core neighborhoods while they put up rows of substandard apartments and car washes. While I am encouraged to see something like this, I am also not holding my breath.

#7 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 12.12.21 at 1:04 pm

“Someday” archaeologists will ponder: “What?”…. “Another car wash place?”….. #TheRise&FallOfCivilization

#8 "Woodstock" on 12.12.21 at 1:44 pm

“What?!”…. “Michael Nesmith died?!”…. “Nobody told me!”… “Wow!”…. “First a snow leopard at the zoo and now a Monkey”….

#9 Mike Lee Zitterich on 12.12.21 at 4:19 pm

TIFS are widely misrepresented, they are NOT a government hand out, first it requires the LAND OWNER to create a plan to invest his own time and money in developing their land, second, they must hire a developer, construction company to work for them to build out their land, thirdly – the land owner has to pay the “new” higher assessment of property taxes levied on the land; and lastly – they have to agree to use their OWN MONEY to build Public Roads, Utilities, Infrastructure that will be used by, of course – The Public. (ALL OF US). In return, the CITY has to maintain the “increment” (the difference in old and new assessments) in a Trust Fund, allowing the LAND OWNER to recoup some of his expenses incurred to build “public things” used by all of us. IT IS NOT a Hand Out.

Secondly, “PUBLIC TAXES” cannot be used for personal gain, this means Govt cannot give you a portion of our public taxes to buy a House or Build a House. The State Constitution does NOT allow for it; hence, the GOVT can in fact “LOAN” you money to buy your house, or build your house, or revitalize your home @ 0% interest. BUT you have to pay back the “tax payer” for that privilege.

YOU CANNOT “personally gain” from our Public Taxes !!

#10 l3wis on 12.12.21 at 4:48 pm

Mike, I will just say what everyone is thinking, you are full of sh!t. What public benefit do I get from condos, and parking ramps that benefit those condos? A sports complex I will never use? Streets to these private investments? I will give you the hard cold truth. NOTHING!!! Rebuilding neighborhoods benefits economic development, jobs, local contractors and recirculation of wealth. It is for public good. It also keeps people here, working and contributing. My neighbor’s new roof will benefit me and my neighborhood a 1000x more than a condo in la la land. When it comes to tax incentives, you should always start at the bottom. Trickle down has never worked and it never will.

#11 D@ily Spin on 12.12.21 at 5:39 pm

It was a TIF that built the private Huether tennis club. TIF’s benefit landowners but most tracts are newly acquired by favored developers. When there’s a TIF it’s associated with an insider. Sorry, I don’t buy it that there’s no favoritism. Indeed, there’s corruption when a developer builds for twice the market price pocketing an unreasonable profit.

#12 Mike Lee Zitterich on 12.12.21 at 6:40 pm

Respectively, I will pick apart Scott’s last comment…

1) TIFS have buildt new apartments/retail buildings through downtown. “They had to be dequised as Commercial Properties in order to get around the law, which states TIFS cannot support housing.

2) SPORTS COMPLEX – The Football, Baseball, and Event Center Complex benefits the Community for all to use,

3) Parking Ramps – provides the residents more downtown parking where the parking was much needed in order to host large events, or public gatherings.

4) Public Streets – everyone is craving more and better streets, so therefore any investment in public streets directly or indirectly benefits you.

5) The City Council for the past 15 years have been creativity searching for ways to revitalize the core nieghborhoods – examples are Downtown Sioux Falls, Pettigrew, and Cathedral Districts; NOW – they wish to tackle the Whittier Neighborhood.

6) TAX INCENTIVES = if you need tax incentives to invest in your properties, then our tax rates are to high to begin with.

SOLUTION: Cut our Sales and Property Tax Dollars by 25% over the first 5 years, and another 25% over a second five years, meaning, reduce Government Spending, restrict government to its ‘constitutional delegations, and cut the size of government by 50%. That would do more for the ECONOMY than any such so called Tax Incentive Policy which is nothing more than a “Scheme”

#13 rufusx on 12.13.21 at 8:45 am

Amazingly, Zittereich is righter (though not 100%) to Scott on this one. The ‘tell’ in your anti-TIF spiel Scott, is that you find them dubious when they do benefit the community as a whole (public works) vs. when you perceive them to potentially benefit yourself personally (increase your own property values). You confuse things that may benefit you – or you may or may not use on a personal level as “public good”, vs. what anyone in general may or may not use. Just because it may benefit someone other to you personally, does not make it a non-public benefit. You identify as being ‘Joe public”. I propose you are not the whole of it.

#14 l3wis on 12.13.21 at 11:21 am

Ruf, I would argue me all may be right or wrong. There has never been an independent study done on the use of TIFs in SF ever. I don’t think that is an accident. Saying something works just because, doesn’t hold water with me.

#15 Very Stable Genius on 12.13.21 at 1:04 pm

OH, so we want to talk about the validity of TIFS, huh? Well, to start with, let’s remember that the concept started in California – doesn’t everything – but TIFs are no longer done in Cali because they became abused. Imagine that!

OH, and if you are still not buying it, then watch this piece:

FF: 08:45


But then again, Councilwoman Erickson claimed in the spring of 2018, during consideration of a TIF across from the Levitt, that our state legislature recognizes TIFs and makes up the loss revenue to school districts. Ya right, and I have a bridge on 8th street that I want to sell to you, too.

#16 "Woodstock" on 12.13.21 at 1:09 pm

“Say, it isn’t ‘a bridge to nowhere’, is it?”…. “Oh, that’s right, I am thinking of the Bunker Ramp”…. #NeverMind

#17 it's not rocket science on 12.13.21 at 3:22 pm

to mr. zitterich…
my opinion point by point…
1. giving craig lloyd yet another tax break to build high end apartments…that he makes a boatload of money on in the form of high rents…mostly benefits craig lloyd. yes or no?
2. extraordinarily debatable how many it benefits. i would argue a small % of sioux falls residents use any of those facilities with regularity and they don’t generate anywhere near the revenue you seem to believe.
3. we gained a very small number of spots (around 300 net gain) for an extraordinarily high price tag. no debate that ramp is a disaster for taxpayers.
4. that’s what we all pay taxes for.
5. the city council, generally speaking, for the past 12 years at least, have been a group of self serving pompous fools beholden mainly to developers. look where the money went. not hard to figure out.
6. I agree 100%

#18 Mike Lee Zitterich on 12.13.21 at 5:41 pm

Directed to “It Not Rocket Science” –

1) It is my opinion, any “Land Owner” benefits from the Development of his/her property holdings. Those who profit the most are the Land Owners, especially in a city the size of Sioux Falls. TIFS in my opinion are not a hand out due to the point that Land Owner first has to agree to build “public things”.

2) Are TIFS benefiting the majority of Sioux Falls “residents” – Yes. Developing the properties especially downtown, is creating a boom time in Downtown, let alone more and more residents are now residing and shopping, and partying downtown at numerous events. Yet alone, the Property Tax Dollars are on the rise up, due to higher land values, and that alone generates more tax revenues for city, and finally, the excess development makes the CITY more attractive to Domestic Foreigners who come here to build homes, work, and entertain themselves, which increases our Sales Tax Revenue.

3) Regarding the Public Parking Ramp – you have to understand the resolution adopted by the 1961 Legislature which had a goal to remove motor vehicles of the street, cause it was seen as a blight. Today, the goal is to get more people downtown, by maintaining safe, flowing traffic flows on our public streets, so in order to achive that you need more Parking Garages and Ramps; needless to say – the land that once held a parking lot is now sold to a private person (group of persons) to develop the LAND, build a commercial/residential structure which creates additional revenues for the City.

4) The continued growth of this city has become such an ‘asset’ to the residents, the tax revenues generated from them, and the services they provide, let alone the events held, furthermore generate twice the tax revenue that we need. When you look at the 10th Street Parking Ramp as more of an “ASSET” you will see its over lining benefit to the residents, namely the LAND OWNERS/property holders/homeowners – The over all NET WORTH of the City currently is $2,000,000,000 Billion Dollars today.

5) I do not know if you can prove beyond reasonable doubt that the “city council” membership of the past 12 years is a self serving group, I mean, I would not make that claim, the fact they opened themselves up to such scrutiny would tell me they care very deeply for the community, the fact they chose public service to help use their morals, values, and idealogy to help make Sioux Falls a better city, shows they do care about the future of the city, and want to do some good. Whether you disagree with their decisions, now that is a different topic all together. And I would say the “District Reps” tend to care more about the residents, and their small area of town more so, which allows them to pay closer attention to what you and I want, whereas the AT LARGE REPS are working closely with the Mayor in order to protect the Land Owners/Property Hlders, businesses of the city in order in order to protect the over all interests of the community.

6) I think we can agree to disagree on a numerous list of issues, but when it comes down to it, we have 195,000 people in this city, and each have a variance of opinions, concepts, and thougts as to how the city should or should not be operated.

Great Thoughts,

#19 i was mistaken on 12.14.21 at 8:36 am

apparently it is rocket science…
1. so “public things” are for profit apartments ‘eh? under your reasoning, craig lloyd gets to profit based in part on a subsidy in the from a tax break, funded by me and all the other taxpayers in the city…ok i get it. by the way, this is a prime example of corporate welfare.
2. was about a sports complex and entertainment venue and their “value” to all the citizens of sioux falls…which is negligible at best.
3. i completely understand what went on with that ramp. bad deal, bad developer, bad decision by the council(s) and administration(s). you calling it an asset tells me you’ve spent to much time talking to neizert. it was not needed as witnessed most recently by the selling of a parking lot…to none other than welfare queen craig lloyd.
4. we pay taxes to have our roads maintained, those taxes should not be used to build roads for corporate welfare seeking businesses.
5. all you have to do is look at where the money went.
while your at it, look at how many times they’ve voted to raise your taxes as opposed to how many times they’ve voted for a tif tax break for a developer. example, your boy nietzert has voted yes to tax increases every time but once, and that was the bad idea to raise midco’s taxes…which they flat out told thee council they would simply pass along to customers. one time in almost 8 years he’s voted for your best interests on taxes…and he’s not the only one to do so.
6. the only thing i’ll agree with you on is we are taxed too much, or, at the very least, many of our tax dollars are wasted on misguided ventures. 1.5 million to a privately owed movie theatre comes to mind.

for a guy who claims to be for smaller government, you sure seem to like this one that keeps getting bigger and and more expensive with less benefit to ordinary citizens. it will continue to do so. maybe we should add a few more innovation directors, and culture directors after all mayor paul is the best, right??