Legislature Passes Some TIF Bills

UPDATE: Governor Walker signed these bills into law as 2015 Wisconsin Acts 254, 255, 256, and 257 on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. 

This week, the Assembly passed the following legislation part of the tax increment financing (TIF) bill package. The bills are a product of the 2014 Legislative Council study committee on TIF. The Senate passed the legislation in May and September of last year. The bills now head to Governor Walker’s desk for expected signatures. The bills that passed both houses include:

2015 Wisconsin Act 256/Senate Bill 50 – Makes several technical changes including:

  • Modifies the industrial zoning requirements to only apply to industrial use tax increment districts;
  • Changes the maximum review period the JRB has to approve a resolution on a TID from 30 days to 45 days;
  • Amends the notice requirement of the planning commission from a class 2 notice to a class 1 notice when it comes to announcing a notice of amendment;
  • Deletes obsolete references in the current statute.

2015 Wisconsin Act 257/Senate Bill 51 – Requires a standing Joint Review Board to be established in order for a TID to be created, and remain in existence during the lifespan of the TID. In addition, this bill modifies annual reporting requirements, incorporates penalties for not reporting annually and repeals the DOR process to review industry-specific town TIDs.

2015 Wisconsin Act 254/Senate Bill 53 – Allows a local entity, after the review and approval of the Joint Review Board, to make project plan amendments as well as extend the life of a TID by five years. Under the bill, the amendments and/or time extension is allowed if the annual or total amount of the tax increments over the life of the TID are negatively impacted by one or more of the following: (1) amendments to TIF law (§66.1105); (2) changes made by DOR to calculate the equalized valuation method; and (3) 2013 Wisconsin Act 145, which reduced technical college levies and replaced the funding with state aid.

2015 Wisconsin Act 255/Senate Bill 54 – Removes the restriction that property standing vacant may not comprise more than 25 percent of the area in a TID. In addition, this bill removes the requirement that all municipal owned land within a TID be assessed for property tax purposes and put in the base value calculations.