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Iowa Economist Speaks on Tax Increment Financing Today in Yankton, Tyndall

My friend Frank Kloucek notes that neighbors in Tyndall and Yankton have a chance today to get educated about tax-based incentives. Kloucek sends a press release noting that Iowa State University economist David Swenson will speak today on "The Rationale, Rewards, and Risks of Using Property Tax-Based Tax Incentives in Rural Areas." Swenson presents twice today:

Tyndall Community Center, right next to the Eiffel Tower (?)
Tyndall Community Center, right next to the Eiffel Tower (?)

Kloucek says the topic is particularly relevant to the thirty-million-dollar rail facility that Cargill/Agrex Dakota Plains Ag Center is building west of Tabor. That project is getting tax increment financing (Bon Homme County Commissioner John Pesak greeted the project by saying, "We're just going to have to have a TIF"), plus getting the county and state to shoulder the majority of the cost of rebuilding the rail to the Napa junction near Yankton.

Swenson's research has found that TIFs are not clearly associated with economic growth or expanding tax bases, particularly in smaller communities. In his 2012 summary of his Iowa research, Swenson says public subsidization of private development has become "inefficient, imprecise, and inevitable." TIFs, says Swenson, have become an entitlement program for business.

Swenson makes the news elsewhere casting doubt on the job projections and other wishful economic thinking of the Dakota Access Bakken oil pipeline that will cut across East River and Iowa and whose corporate fathers have apparently used the same deceptive "job-year" statistics as Keystone XL backers.

Come ask Swenson your economic development questions this afternoon in Yankton and this evening in Tyndall.


  1. mike from iowa 2014.11.25

    and a man from iowa shall come and lead the bewildered people to the promised land(family owned/run drive-in burger joint for lunch).

  2. Steve Sibson 2014.11.25

    Cory, thanks for posting all the info. These tactics are also being used in Mitchell.

  3. leslie 2014.11.25

    both the abuse of substance industry (alcohol/pot ect.) and TIFs are entitlements, as are severance of minerals ect. the actual cost of capitalism is paid by taxpayers' loss of mental health, and tax base in a district so purveyors can get rich, loss of clean air, water, natural mountaintops, the bottoms of ocean bays filled with tailings slurry, ect.

    joop, rounds and daugaard know this. this is what our nation is built on.
    (see hog/immigration thread)

  4. Connie Mogen 2014.11.25

    Cory, hope to hear more about what Mr. Swent on has to say. Can already see we will have nay sayers and skeptics but I've been very leary of tax breaks for economic development for a long time.Just always sounds too god to be true.
    Think Rounds, Dauguard and Bollen should have to clean up some of the afor mentioned environmental damage from the bottom of the ocean with a straw. They are bottom feeders anyway.

  5. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.26

    "TIFs, says Swenson, have become an entitlement program for business."

    Ain't it the truth. Disabled and poor Americans are not nearly as entitled as the corporate and wealthy.

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