Town of Brookfield TIF legislation moves forward

Special to The Freeman

Oct. 15, 2013

MADISON – A piece of legislation that would give the Town of Brookfield the same rights as cities and villages with creating a tax incremental finance district moved forward Tuesday when the Joint Finance Committee unanimously supported it.

A similar bill concerning the ability of the Town of Somers in Kenosha County to create TIFs was also approved unanimously and without discussion by the Joint Finance Committee.

Under state statutes, incorporated cities and villages can create TIF districts, generally to address blight with the mission of creating new manufacturing, office and retail developments. TIFs give municipalities the ability to borrow money, and taxes generated by new developments go toward paying off the borrowed funds.

State statutes have prohibited towns from creating TIFs, though Gov. Scott Walker in 2011 signed a bill allowing the Town of Brookfield to create one for the Marcus Corporation’s Corners project, which will be anchored by a Von Maur department store.

The original legislation concerning the development gave the TIF a 16-year window; however, it could extend out to 27 years – the length granted to cities and villages – if the Town of Brookfield is given additional authority.