Entries Tagged 'TIFs' ↓

UPDATE: Is the TenHaken Administration getting ready to get ‘TIFaliscious’?

Well, that wasn’t to tough, they got Brian Allen at KSFY to roll over and talk about how great TIFs are. Funny, the important part missing from Allen’s story, the actual economic impact;

A KSFY review of active Tax Increment Financing projects in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota shows there is a dramatic drop-off in TIF usage.

You know why? Because several studies have been done showing they have very little economic impact. I also find if comical that Allen only interviewed PRO TIF folks and NO one who is against them. I also like how some in the interview talk about how South Dakota does them ‘different’. Good stuff. Yet there has been NO extensive study done in South Dakota showing the actual economic impact of them. Why? Because the results would be grim.

What other people don’t realize is that when we give wealthy developers TIFs we all pay more in property taxes to supplement them to fund things like our counties, cities and public education.

I think the TenHaken administration is gearing up to start handing them out, literally like candy. His COS, Beck, wrote the Sanford Sports Complex TIF while working for the city (the largest in state history) and she also wrote the most recent one while working for Lloyd Companies for the Cascade project that is mostly marketplace apartments.

Tonight the city is hiring a finance director who worked for the Costello Companies (a major developer in SF) who is also an expert in TIFs.

It is pretty clear to me they are getting us prepped and they are probably chiding our local media behind the scenes to talk about the ‘positivity’ of TIFs.

Let’s face it, they are simply a tax rebate for private developers who could easily pay the taxes with or without the TIF. We don’t have a growth problem in Sioux Falls. In fact we are developing so much and building so fast we can’t hire people fast enough. The city council even gave SE Tech $100K for more job training programs. This tells me we don’t need to be subsidizing growth and development in Sioux Falls, it actually tells me we need to find ways to slow this growth and concentrate on SMART-STEADY growth not FAST URBAN SPRAWL.

The TIF model in itself isn’t a bad idea, but I think it should be applied to cleaning up neighborhoods. Giving tax rebates to single family homeowners and small apartment owners to clean up the neighborhoods would be a better approach, and it would be a visible economic impact. When individuals have to spend less on taxes and divert that money to improving their properties and lives that means they spend more money on other things that help with sales tax revenue that truly impacts our community. Businesses who use TIFs to expand their businesses don’t pay sales taxes, they just collect them. Give the rebates to individuals who will actually use them to improve lives and contribute to sales tax revenue.

Let’s face it, TIFs right now are truly ‘Corporate Welfare’ and not much else.

UPDATE: Did anyone catch Dusty Johnson in the interview? Mr. Fiscal Conservative ANTI-WELFARE wants to raise the Social Security age gladly preaching the ‘WINS’ about TIFs? We know exactly what Dusty would do in Congress, handout to big business while stepping on the little guy. If I was the Bjorkman campaign I would be clipping this little piece of corporate welfare pie for a future TV commercial.

UPDATE: TIF History Presentation

FF 1:38:15 – To watch my RANT on TIFs

There will be a presentation at the Sioux Falls City Council informational meeting at 4 PM on TIF History in Sioux Falls (DOC: TIF-History-SF )

You will notice that the mention of blighted property or affordable workforce housing isn’t even mentioned anymore (the original reason TIFs were used). Know they are being used for Market Rate housing, retail and even multi-million dollar condos at Washington Square.

While I do understand the increased value AFTER the TIF’s mature, some of them won’t mature for another 10-14 years.

We really need to get back to the original purpose of TIF’s or stop granting them. I think developers do very well in Sioux Falls, which is awesome, we certainly don’t need to subsidize developers with property tax rebates especially when we are talking out bonds for jails, schools and water plants. It’s very fiscally irresponsible for us to be handing out property tax rebates to wealthy developers when we are taking out over a HALF-BILLION in bonds.

UPDATE: Sioux Falls City Council to Dissolve TWO TIF’s on Tuesday

UPDATE: It seems they are moving forward with a ‘Market Rate’ apartment project and this is why the TIF is being dissolved. Funny how a TIF is now not needed since they are going to build apartments that they can charge whatever for rent. Further proof all TIFs are is developer welfare.

Many people have been asking about a supposed project North of Sunshine Grocery Downtown that received a TIF and why it hasn’t proceeded.

It seems that TenHaken administration is taking action by asking through resolution to have the council dissolve that TIF and the TIF that COSTCO never accepted. As I understand it, Norm Drake from Legacy is somehow involved with the Downtown TIF (part of it is where the current temporary dog park is located) and COSTCO opposed their TIF from the beginning because they don’t like how TIFs take from public education funding.

As I have been saying about the $190 million dollar bond issue, why are we borrowing so much on the backs of homeowners while wealthy developers are getting tax rebates? Just another reason why the Bond issue AND TIFs are flawed.

Council Agenda Items #46-47

Details Below;

Anti-Citizen (Municipal) League continues to lobby against our best interests

The taxpayer funded legislative lobbyist Muni-League decided to rear their head again with the city council’s supposed ‘legislative’ priorities (Item #15). But some councilors weren’t buying it. Stehly had an issue with TIFs, some wondered how the county’s priorities got mixed in with it, and councilor Brekke was curious when they even talked about it.

The rumor going around is that a couple of councilors met with Minnehaha County Chair, Heiberger and cooked this up with the help of the Muni-League.

And let’s talk about them. We pay them to lobby for higher taxes (they continually try to sucker the legislature into letting cities raise an extra penny tax for ‘special projects’ with a sunset clause. NO taxes ever ‘sunset’. Once implemented, they are there forever. Look at the 3rd penny entertainment tax in SF for paying off Pavilion bonds. That tax was supposed to sunset after the bonds were paid off. That was 4-5 years ago. Still exists. They also support TIF’s which are nothing more than a tax rebate/welfare program for developers. Most times they have little to NO economic impact except raising property taxes on the rest of us.

It’s time the city cuts ties with the Muni-League. The Sioux Falls city council already has a legislative director/operations manager that makes close to $100K a year. The council praises his hard work, and he is very capable of lobbying for the city. As taxpayers we don’t need to pay another lobbyist to lobby against our interests.

State’s report on TIFs lacks ‘economic impact’ data

Maybe it isn’t in the report, because there is very little economic impact from TIFs, they NEVER pay for themselves in JOBS created and take money from school funding, something we need in SF instead of bonding.

As you can see from the Sioux Falls TIFs a lot tax rebates with little evidence of a benefit to the public; 2017TIFAnnualReport-SF

Here is the entire statewide report; 2017TIFAnnualReport

As you can see, a lot of property tax revenue being given to wealthy developers in the guise of ‘economic development’. If TIF’s truly worked, why not give them to EVERY developer? It’s a sad day when the school district has to have a bond vote when they could easily pay down the bonds with property tax revenue that wasn’t tied up into TIFs.

Follow the Money; TenHaken & Soehl’s donor lists tells us who they will serve

Some of the Biggest Banksters and developers in Sioux Falls have thrown thousand$ at Paul and Curt.



I always find it ironic when I hear certain candidates tell us what they will do for ‘US’ than read their donor list that tell us a different story.

The other night in the final mayoral debate, TenHaken made the comment that he felt we haven’t used TIF’s enough. I just about fell out of my chair. With 5 years of record building permits, why is it that we continue to handout corporate welfare to the developers? They are NOT hurting, just look at the money they threw at these two candidates.

We need to focus on bringing customer service back to ALL the citizens in Sioux Falls, not just the super wealthy. Council Candidate Zach DeBoer has proposed numerous initiatives that would lift up neighborhoods and support more affordable housing in Sioux Falls. Paul and Curt have proposed we stay the course with corporate welfare and TIF’s.

Some say the decision on Tuesday is a hard one. Just look at these donor lists, it will make your decision a lot easier.

With School Bond issue on the horizon, it’s time to end TIF’s

Let’s face it, with the Sioux Falls School District telling us that it is inevitable they will need to build new schools (though I would rather they spend the money on giving parents FREE birth control) that means our property taxes in Sioux Falls will be going up, ALOT!

I think it is time to either put a moratorium or to eliminate TIFs all together. Developers in this town need to start paying their fair share. With over $700 million in building permits last year, it is obvious that developers and investors don’t need a handout or rebate on taxes to develop, if anything all this massive growth is hurting us, with little payback to the city, county and school district coffers.

It is time WE ALL paid into supporting public education, and that means killing large, unnecessary TIFs once and for all.

TIFs have little impact on benefitting society as a whole

Dave Swenson, Associate Scientist, Department of Economics from Iowa State University recently did a presentation to Bon Homme County about TIFs. Through his research, Swenson has become critical of TIFs because he has found little to no benefit to society from TIFs.


Important Slides from the presentation;

Here is a recent letter Swenson sent former Senator Kloucek on the matter;


Economics says that we don’t interfere in normal market decisions unless we can demonstrate that we are improving the welfare of society at large.  We do that, for example, by reducing impediments to production or impediments to running a household.  When we do that, by timely investment in critical infrastructure that is widely beneficial to commerce and individuals, for example, we improve aggregate living standards.  If, on the other hand, we are providing public assistance for the purpose of enticing economic development.  Unless the region is suffering from chronic and high unemployment there is no justification in economics for the decision.  The only justification is political.  And society is not better off, at large, just the primary beneficiaries.

You cannot explain this to a typical government official, however.  That person usually does not understand economics or the relationship between government decisions and area commercial activity.  They think they do but they don’t.

There is a standard test that is often used: “but for” the activity of the government body, this commercial development would not have occurred.  Very good research has demonstrated that as many as four in five instances of government assistance to firms would have resulted in the firm developing there nonetheless.  That means that the government assistance was only locationally instrumental in 1/5th of the instances.

Assistance for housing, if it is targeted to low income and moderate income households can make sense if affordability is an issue in an area or there is an undeveloped housing market.  Politicians think, however, that “if we build it, they will come” in that housing stimulates other economic growth.  That is almost always a fallacy: houses are bought (apartments are rented) with income made from working – that’s the demand variable.  It has been our experience in Iowa that small and struggling communities have used TIFs for new housing and for apartments, but growth in those areas is usually meager.  The rest of the regional economy is contracting and is not able to employ enough people to maintain housing demand.  The other extreme is that suburbs of metros use housing development subsidies as a way to speed up growth as compared to other suburbs.  Here the subsidy is awarding the economy (developers) for doing what they would have done nonetheless because metropolitan economic and demographic forces would have yielded that demand nonetheless.

In my professional opinion, nearly all public subsidies for businesses or for housing are unnecessary, and it is very rare that the public gets paid back in the form of net fiscal growth sufficient to cover the initial subsidy.  That is not the way politicians look at it, but it is the way that economists look at it.

Put differently, the only way you can justify these things is by not asking an economist.

Dave Swenson

Chamber to host a TIF informational

I find the statement ‘TIF itself can be rather complex and confusing’ a little comical. TIFs are not complicated. They are basically a property tax rebate to private development. Funny how I could explain that in one sentence. Where it gets confusing and frustrating is when they hand this rebate to extremely successful and wealthy free enterprise private developers for property that isn’t blighted OR above and beyond what that blight is costing them to develop. It is also a little ironic that TIF recipients are often big campaign donors to the elected officials who authorize the TIFs. It’s a blatant conflict of interest, corruption and corporate welfare. It’s time we end TIFs. They don’t benefit the common citizen in any way. A better program would be more low interest or no interest community development loans to landlords who want to provide working class affordable housing. Read all about it;

Dear Community Leader,

You are invited to join Lt. Gov. Matt Michels and other state and local leaders in learning more about an economic development tool called Tax Increment Financing (TIF). TIF is a development incentive primarily used locally to redevelop blighted areas and grow the local economy. TIF is a useful economic development tool intended to attract private investment and new businesses, which in turn means more jobs, more customers, and a growing tax base. When used correctly, the benefit to our community seems to be straightforward—however, TIF itself can be rather complex and confusing.

With that in mind, we would like to take the opportunity to invite you to an informational “TIF Forum”. During this event, you will hear from:

*   Lieutenant Governor, Matt Michels
*   Secretary of the Department of Revenue, Andy Gerlach
*   Department of Revenue’s Director of Property Special Taxes, Mike Houdyshell
*   City Council Vice Chair, Christine Erickson.
This is an opportunity to simply learn more about TIF, how it works, and ask any questions you might have. We hope you will consider attending this event.

Tax Increment Financing Forum
Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce- Betty J. Ordal Room
Monday, Nov. 13, 2017
3:00-5:00 p.m.

We kindly ask you to RSVP by responding to this email no later than Monday, Nov. 13th at noon. With limited seating available in the Chamber’s conference room, this event will be restricted to the first 45 people to RSVP.

Thank you,

Teresa Schreier
Public Affairs and Communications Assistant
Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce
200 N. Phillips Ave., Suite 200
PO Box 1425 | Sioux Falls, SD 57101-1425
P 605.373.2050 | F 605.336.6499