Press Release                                                                                      February 16, 2016

For Immediate Release


Four TIF Bills Headed for Governor's Desk

Madison – Today, four bills related to Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) law passed the Wisconsin State Assembly, clearing the final legislative hurdle, and are now awaiting the governor’s signature. These four bills were part of a package of proposals that would help to make TIF law more straightforward, more practical, and help drive economic growth. The bills were recommended by the Legislative Council Study Committee on the Review of Tax Incremental Financing, which Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton) served on as the vice-chair.

“Tax incremental financing is one of the most important economic development tools used by local units of government to attract and retain family-supporting jobs,” said Representative Loudenbeck.  “The study committee reviewed ways to make Wisconsin’s TIF law more transparent, accountable, and effective.  Passage of these four bills will ensure local communities have the necessary tools to support job creation, while ensuring greater accountability to our state’s taxpayers.

Senate Bill 50 repeals nine sections of TIF statutes that are obsolete and makes other technical changes recommended by the study committee to clarify existing law.

Senate Bill 51 requires a local unit of government to submit an annual report to each overlying taxing jurisdiction and the Department of Revenue, and requires every Joint Review Board (JRB) to exist during the life of the Tax Incremental District (TID) and requires the JRB to meet annually.

Senate Bill 53 allows a TID’s project plan to be amended, or its maximum lifespan to be extended by an additional three years, or both, if the tax increments to be generated over the life of the district are adversely impacted by 2013 Wisconsin Act 145, which increased state aid to technical college districts in order to reduce the total statewide levy of technical college districts.

Senate Bill 54 removes the statutory restriction that vacant property may not comprise more than 25% of the area of a newly-created TID, and excludes all tax-exempt city-owned property from the calculation of a TID’s initial tax incremental base value.

The Legislative Council Study Committee on the Review of Tax Incremental Financing evaluated current TIF law and recommended legislation based on testimony heard during five meetings in 2014.  The committee was directed to review the intent behind TIF law; how TIF law is utilized by cities, villages, towns, and counties; how to improve effectiveness; and the impact on a local governmental unit’s finances and property taxes, economic and community development, and job growth.