State Street Reconstruction | Madison, WI

Update on Proposed Changes to Wisconsin's TIF

David Rasmussen | with 0 Comments

Update on Proposed Changes to Wisconsin's TIF

It has been almost a year since the Legislative Council Study Committee convened on the Review of Tax Incremental Financing (TIF). The committee studied and reviewed the intent behind TIF laws and how TIF is utilized by cities, villages, towns and counties. The committee debated a total of 30 changes to Wisconsin TIF law which were combined and submitted into eight broader recommendations. As it stands today, seven out of the eight TIF Bills have passed the Senate.
Senate Bills 50, 51, 52 and 54 were unanimously approved by the Senate in May 2015. These bills are summarized below:
  • SB 50 makes several technical changes to the TIF law including industrial zoning requirements and planning commission notice for TID amendments.
  • SB 51 requires a standing Joint Review Board that meets annually to provide additional reporting and accountability related to TIF;
  • SB 52 provides more flexibility in allowing one TIF District (“Donor”) to donate positive tax increments to another TIF District (“Recipient”);
  • SB 54 removes the requirements that previously mandated no more than 25% of the land within certain TIF District could be vacant, and that municipally-owned land be assessed and included in the base value of the District.
Recently, three other proposed bills passed the Senate. These bills included:
  • SB 53 allows a TIF District’s lifetime to be extended for up to three years if the District was adversely impacted by WI Act 145, which moved technical college funding to state aid, changes to the Department of Revenue equalization calculation method, and other amendments to the TIF law;
  • SB 56 extends the sunset date for declaring a TIF District as distressed from October 1, 2015 to October 1, 2018;
  • SB 57 allows for TIF District base value redeterminations.
We summarized all eight TIF recommendations in this white paper for you.

The only Senate Bill that has yet to pass is Senate Bill 55. This Bill increases the value limitation from 12% to 15%. You can read more information about value limitations here. There are many communities currently over 12% and under 15% that could benefit from the passage of this bill. Without the its passage, these communities will be inhibited from promoting economic development. If you are an affected community, you may want to contact your legislator to discuss how the passage of this bill could benefit your community. 

The seven bills were unanimously passed by the Senate exactly as recommended by the Joint Legislative Council and have moved onto the Assembly. Communities that agree with this legislation should contact their Wisconsin State Representative.

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). Check out David’s 
series of blog posts on these TIF changes. Or, contact David directly for any questions you have on TIF.

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