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Changes to Tax Incremental Financing Laws

David Rasmussen | with 0 Comments

Changes to Tax Incremental Financing Laws

The Wisconsin Joint Legislative Council formed a Study Committee on the Review of Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) in May 2014 to review existing TIF laws and make recommendations for changes.  I had the honor of serving on this committee, which was comprised of 12 public members and six legislators. The committee’s eight proposed TIF changes present a multitude of new funding opportunities for Wisconsin communities. 

Pathway to Change

The committee had several goals to accomplish:
  • Study and review the intent behind TIF laws and how those laws are utilized by cities, villages, towns, and counties.
  • Determine how these laws impact a local governmental unit’s finances and property taxes; economic and community development; and job growth.
  • Evaluate current TIF laws and make recommendations on legislation that could improve TIF effectiveness.
The committee heard testimony from municipal officials, the Department of Revenue (DoR) and others, and then debated on 25-30 changes. Committee members then consolidated those changes into eight separate recommendations, drafted them into proposed legislation and forwarded them to the Legislative Reference Bureau.
New Annual Requirements

One of the eight proposed TIF changes will require a more in-depth annual report from the community with cash flow analysis and projections regarding the performance of the TIF District(s). In addition, the Joint Review Board (JRB) will now be required to meet annually.  This will require the vigilance of the local governmental staff, Administrator and Clerks, to complete the annual TIF Report and JRB review meeting prior to July 1st, or as soon as the report is available. 
Realizing that some communities do not have their audits completed by July 1st, the DoR will grant extensions if requested.  Failure to submit the report by July 1st or the extended date approved by the DoR will result in a fine of $100 per day for each day the report is past due.

The Wisconsin Joint Legislative Study Committee appointed David Rasmussen, MSA senior planner, Rice Lake, to the Study Committee on the Review of Tax Incremental Financing (TIF).  The committee submitted their recommendations in November 2014. Over the next few weeks, David will summarize the proposed TIF changes in a series of blog posts.  Contact David for more information on these proposed changes or any questions you have on TIF.

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