City closes TIF districts

photo+by+Shannan+Lojeski

Shannan Lojeski

photo by Shannan Lojeski

Kylie Jacobs, Managing Editor

The Whitewater Common Council passed resolutions to close out the five Tax Incremental Districts. These are to make unexpected revenue for both the city and the school district, as well as other areas in the legislature.

An estimated $607,000 refund is expected and to be distributed among the government when a sixth TID is to be closed later in the year. About $100,00 of the remaining funds from the previous 5 remaining TID balances is expected to be refunded towards the WWUSD, City, Walworth and Jefferson Counties, as well as two technical colleges that impose property taxes. 

City finance director Steve Hatton  estimated that returning the equalized values with the 5 TID closings would equal up to over $4 million to the tax rolls. The closing of the sixth TID will add another $92 million. 

Whitewater has created these six TIDs in the past twenty years. The city plans to close all six by the end of the year. This will allow for future development for the city, the school districts, counties, and technical colleges. 

The council also adopted a state authorized mechanism which allows for an “extension” of a TID.

City financial advisor Greg Johnson discussed how this mechanism only applies to “affordable housing”, and further explained how the definition of affordable housing costs “no more than 30% of the household’s gross monthly income” can also set the tone for other projects in the future. 

He also gave examples of how other cities in Wisconsin have taken advantage of this option. Some of these included new home development, neighborhood revitalization efforts, and historical preservation grants. 

City manager Cameron Clapper urged city residents to voice their concerns if they have any, relating to the council how several had written via letter their worries of tax changes in property assessments. Those with more concerns should call 920-749-8098 or 800-770-3927 to speak with someone. Citizens also have an option to appeal to the City’s Board of Review and attend the “Open Book” sessions on March 22 & 23. 

Other issues during the meeting were the authorization of a $859,000 Community Development grant to be used to construct a new water tower. 

The next common council meeting will be held on April 8. Previous sessions can be viewed at https://www.whitewater-wi.gov/AgendaCenter/Common-Council-6.

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