TIF Bills Get Hearing

In last week’s edition of Bills of Note, we alerted you to the introduction of the tax increment financing (TIF) bill package that was introduced by Joint Legislative Council.

Three of these bills, Senate Bills 50, 54 and 57 will have a public hearing before the Senate committee on Economic Development and Commerce next week Wednesday, March 25, at 1:30 p.m. in 300 Southeast.

There are eight bills included in the TIF bill package, but the hearing next week will focus on:

Senate Bill 50 – Makes several technical changes including:

  • Modify 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.
  • Revises the timing penalty so that project plans adopted after September 30 and after May 15 would not have a timing penalty.

Senate Bill 54 – This bill removes the restriction that property standing vacant may not compromise more than 25 percent of the area in a TID. Current law, with certain exceptions, specifies that property standing vacant for an entire 7-year period right before a TID is created, may not comprise more than 25 percent of the area in the TID. The physical land where a vacant, damaged or demolished building resides is often more valuable than the property’s actual physical improvements. This change removes any restrictions to create a prosperous TID regardless of the proportion of vacant land. 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. It will reflect the actual property tax value of the municipal property, which is zero.

Senate Bill 57 – This bill creates an alternative process for redetermining the base value of a TID. If a project plan indicates that as part of the project the TID will go into decrement (as defined in sec. 66.1105(2)(aj), Wis. Stats), the base value may be reset. Under this alternative process, the local legislative body could request a redetermination any time that the qualifying TID is in a decrement situation for a single year. Under the current law, a qualifying TID must be a decrement situation for two consecutive years. The local legislative body would need to specifically state in the TID project plan that it plans to request multiple redeterminations.

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