Hint “more flexibility” = more money in developer pockets while taking away the “benefits” we get, mostly in the form of roads and infrastructure to support the developers building that if TIF doesn’t pay for, will need to be paid for by borrowing and we pay it back, with interest. Also, the great benefit we get is added taxes that will help pay for services – except by the time this trickles down to the community services budget – the benefit is barely recognizable and definitely not realizable – it just gets lost in the budget. Hope to see people there tonight saying why we shouldn’t leave the candy store wide open. Mostly only the lobbyists have been showing up for most of the discussion, some activists came to he table late, but generally speaking, the public hasn’t been involved in this discussion which has gone from a major overhaul of TIF policy, to making changes, to now “just tinkering”. It will be interesting to see what he alders thing need changing compared to the Economic Development Committee recommendations.
I know this is complex, but Please come register against the proposed TIF changes tonight at the TIF Ad Hoc Policy Review Committee, 5:30pm, 260 Municipal Building today, Thursday, 8/29. Or contact the alders on the Committee – see list below.
Some reading as background – Mayrl’s 2006 report on Efficient and Strategic Use of TIF
Links to agenda items for tonight.
- Accepting the revised TIF Policy approved by the Economic Development Committee on February 20, 2013 for Common Council consideration and adoption.
- Communications and Reports of the 2013 TIF Policy Review Ad Hoc Committee
Some basics for tonight:
– With these changes, we would not be trying to get what we want or what we need as a community. We would be paying more for what we would likely get anyway, benefiting corporate profits at our expense.
– The proposed changes interfere with the judgment of the Joint Review Board, which is the legal entity that should make decisions on the acceptance or denial of TIDs and TIF.
– Discussion has focused a lot of “greenfield” development. Turning agricultural land into TIF Districts has higher costs, including in lost taxes from development that would occur anyway. Residential construction in greenfield areas can put more pressure on schools, at the same time schools are locked out of the increased revenue stream for the life of the TID.
– Currently, TIF loans don’t exceed 50 percent of the estimated increase in taxes. The other funds generated can go to infrastructure. The proposed changes enable using 100 percent of that increment, or even more.
– The proposed policy would allow a company to say they were being “wooed” by some other municipality, and this in and of itself would meet the criteria to be eligible for TIF. The murky concept of “competitive factors” is invoked in several places in the proposed policy.
– As a goal, the proposed policy has “jobs that are a career ladder to family-supporting jobs”. How long is that ladder? How many years does it take to climb it? As Mayrl points out, the public bears the costs when low wage workers require income subsidies in the form of social services. “Jobs that offer a career ladder” is another murky aspect of the proposed changes that opens the door to handing out public money for corporate benefit without community benefit.
All alders – allalders @cityofmadison.com (make sure to include your address so they know whose constituent you are!)
Ellingson – District13@cityofmadison.com
Bidar-Sielaff – District5@cityofmadison.com
Schmidt – District11@cityofmadison.com
Verveer – District4@cityofmadison.com
Clear – District19@cityofmadison.com
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