PatchCast: Oakland Avenue Project Moving On; Basketball Teams Do Too

A video roundup of the day's top stories.

In today's PatchCast, ; communities digest estimates for the cuts and givebacks from the budget repair bill; three girls basketball teams ; ; and meet some .

Dean Howell March 20, 2011 at 04:22 AM
This is one more of many authorized TIFs by the Village of Shorewood and the Shorewood School District. Every TIF must be approved, according to state law, by all taxing authorities where the property is located. The School District has approved (did not oppose) every TIF. That means Shorewood real estate taxpayers didn't receive any tax relief from these new developments . In most normal cities around the country when new development occurs the tax base (total value of all real estate) goes up, therefore the amount of taxes for each property goes down. When a TIF is used to help fund a project, the extra (incremental) taxes do not go towards the tax levy of each authority (i.e. Village and School), instead it goes to pay off the bond which was sold to the Wisconsin Land Trust (owned by the State of Wisconsin). What happened with the purchase of properties on the Milwaukee River and on N. Oakland? How many businesses were closed down for those failed purchases? Are the taxpayers of Shorewood still paying off those TIFs? The same Village Board which approved these properties costing over $5 million and still empty is the same Board creating more TIFs without any type of tax relief unless you consider lower taxes in 10-20 years tax relief. Tax increases and referendums would be easier to vote yes if the Village and School Boards would allow development that actually added to the tax base and reduce our CURRENT real estate tax liabilities.
Joe Peterlin March 21, 2011 at 01:51 PM
Dean: Ah yes, the magic of TIFs! There are many in the village that agree with you, but maybe they don't make they're voices heard loud enough (maybe some drum banging?). When the Boards are questioned on this aspect of TIF policy, the standard answer is that this is the only way to attract developers. I am among the many who agree with you. This is a long time to wait for tax relief, if you really want to call it that. My opinion from watching this policy in action for a few decades is that, by the time the TIF "matures", the local pols have already spent the increased revenue. Therefore, I would argue that the TIFs in Shorewood are just another political accounting gimmick (some would call it a shell game) and provide no real tax relief. Granted, they promote development, but that's about all they do, except line the developers' pockets.


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