Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Report On TIF In Wisconsin Raises Questions

Tax incremental financing has been a useful, but sometimes controversial and even badly focused development tool in Wisconsin: For example, look no farther than the $24 million in public TIF dollars spent to turn productive farmland in Oconomowoc into the planned, and now floundering community and commercial center known as Pabst Farms.

Now comes a new report issued by the Public Policy Forum on the subject showing that while TIF can add value, it can also pull resources out of a city like Milwaukee.

Reminds me of the problems with water transfers from one watershed to another: what also gets transferred are water management problems, too.

Another interesting finding: what was designed as a development aid to help struggling communities is now getting heavy use in growing successful municipalities, too.

Could TIF often amount to just another gob of corporate welfare?

Details here, and the full, eminently readable report - - something of a rarity given the technical nature of the subject matter - - is here.

1 comment:

Dave Reid said...

It seems to me that some of these communities are violating, if not the letter of the law, but at least the spirit of the law.