Commission signs off on TIF amendments

Recommendation goes to council on Wednesday
By: 

Tim Ryan

The Shawano Plan Commission this week signed off on a set of amendments to three of the city’s Tax Increment Finance (TIF) districts aimed at giving an additional boost to economic development in those areas.

TIF districts are areas where municipalities invest in infrastructure, such as sewer and water, to attract development where it might not otherwise occur, or to make improvements, such as eliminating blight.

Whatever increase in tax revenue that results from development in those districts goes to paying back the debt the municipality incurred from making improvements to the district.

However, TIF revenue can also be used for administrative costs and other TIF-related expenses, as well as incentives and other tools for promoting development.

The amendments recommended by the commission will go before to the Common Council on Wednesday.

The first amendment would add approximately $300,000 of project costs, primarily for development assistance, to a residential area from Main Street east to Lincoln Street and Zingler Avenue south to Pearl Avenue.

The area covers the city’s TIF District No. 3, which was created in 1995 for purposes of blight elimination and revitalization.

The new expenses would primarily cover housing improvements and city staff time, including $70,000 for additional infrastructure projects; $175,000 for development incentives and $10,000 for site development. The rest would cover administrative and organizational costs and professional services

The second proposed amendment would add approximately $1.3 million of project costs to TIF District No. 4 — a downtown area running from the Main Street bridge south to Sunset Avenue.The district was created in 2000.

The amendment includes $250,000 for additional infrastructure projects; $20,000 for site development; $50,000 for land acquisition and $750,000 for development incentives, expected to include a building improvement program and redevelopment assistance.

The third proposed amendment would add approximately $1 million in costs to the Bay Lakes Industrial Park, which was established in 2003.

The amendment includes $150,000 for additional infrastructure projects; $150,000 for site development; $50,000 for land acquisition and $400,000 for development incentives.

“Our intention is to be able to utilize the TIFs and the revenue they generate for improving economic opportunities in those areas,” City Administrator Brian Knapp said.

Any proposed changes to the TIF district plans will go before a Joint Review Board made up of representatives of the city and the other taxing entities — including Shawano County, the Shawano School District and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

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