Tax Incremental Financing

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Wisconsin’s cities, villages, and towns have limited tools available to them to advance economic development in their community. Other states allow local municipalities to utilize tax abatement, local sales taxes, unique special district funding, and other enterprise zones. Each of these methods utilizes some diversion of tax dollars for supporting economic development activities or goals. In Wisconsin, the most common tool – and often the only one available at the city level of government – is tax increment financing or “TIF.” The intent of this article is to help Oak Creek residents better understand the City’s use of TIF to achieve its economic development goals. The City is not unique in its use of TIF. In 2017, there were 1,238 TIF Districts (TID) total in all of Wisconsin. In Milwaukee County, 107 TIDs are presently active, and every city and village in the County have at least one TID (with the exception of the Village of Bayside). In total, as of December 31, 2017, there was approximately $32.5 BILLION of property value in TIDs across Wisconsin. Clearly, the use of TIF remains the most prevalent tool for Wisconsin’s local governments to use for economic development and job creation.
How Does A TIF Work?
Why Would A Community Use TIF?
Use of TIF In Oak Creek.

Difference Between "TIF" vs. "TID"

TIF= Tax Increment Financing

The economic development program that helps promote local tax base expansion by using property tax revenue to fund site improvements in a specified area.

TID= Tax Increment District

The actual physical area designated for development projects and where the City is making public improvements (roads, water, sewer, etc.).

TID by the numbers

  • 1,238 TIDs in Wisconsin, including 107 in Milwaukee County, with total overall property value = $32.5 billion!
  • Every city/village in the county has at least one TID (except the Village of Bayside).
  • The City has had 15 total TIDs, but only nine are still active.