MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) - This week, Governor Scott Walker signed into law two similar pieces of legislation that allow townships to create Tax Incremental Financing districts, much like cities and villages already do. This allows the local governments to defer taxes for projects, and use the tax money collected in the district to build infrastructure like roads and utilities to attract and support job-creating businesses.
The bills Governor Walker signed into law help the Town of Brookfield in Waukesha County and the Town of Somers in Kenosha County attract two businesses that will hire a combined total of nearly 2,300 new employees.
State Senator Jerry Petrowski has been working on similar legislation that would benefit townships statewide as long as they meet certain criteria. “My bill was narrowly drafted to allow a town to be able to TIF, and it has to be a town over 5,000 in population, over 500-million dollars in assessed valuation, and have the ability to have sewer and water.”
The Senator says his bill would have accomplished what was done in Kenosha and Waukesha counties, and would have helped other areas attract new business as well. “A lot of these towns are located in exactly the right place at the right time where they can get businesses to locate there and create jobs, create commerce there, and that’s what the focus of the bill is.”
One of the towns that could benefit under Petrowski’s bill is the Town of Rib Mountain, which has a developed business district to the east, and a primarily agricultural district to its west.
Petrowski says he has a good deal of support in the Senate, and the bill is working it’s way through the process in the Assembly.
(Senator Petrowski's short interview can be heard here.)