Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

TIF controversies in Waukesha point to need for reform


Over at the MacIver Institute, I explained why Waukesha’s Sunset Homes controversy almost became exhibit 1 of why TIF reform is needed in Wisconsin:

The public also learned that the City Attorney had said the loan was risky because the collateral was the condo association fees and not the actual properties. He recommended individual agreements with the condo owners as the repairs commenced on each property. Otherwise, the city only had the right to sue up to 120 different condo owners for the fees.

Finally, one of the aldermen who voted in favor of the TIF amendment asked the mayor to put on the agenda reconsideration of the amendment’s passage.

But it was Alderman Aaron Perry who cautioned what the real consequences were of making the loan. In an op-ed for the Waukesha Freeman, Perry pointed to the op-ed by Stroebel and said the city was risking local control over how TIFs are used. He wrote, “Without a doubt, Waukesha is drawing attention to this issue and if we aren’t careful next Tuesday when we vote on this again, we very well might be a prime example of what Stroebel is talking about. If approved, Madison may feel it has no choice but to take away our local control of how the tool of TIF is to be used.”

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