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Gov. Walker signing TIF bill for urban towns

RIB MOUNTAIN, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin's most populated towns will soon get the same tax incremental financing powers as cities and villages.

Governor Scott Walker will sign the measure at noon Friday, in a ceremony in the business-heavy town of Rib Mountain just west of Wausau.

The TIF powers would be extended to just over two dozen urban towns that have at least 5,000 residents and total land values of a half-billion dollars or more.

Supporters say it would give outlying communities the same ability as cities and villages to expand their tax bases with new business growth.

Under TIF funding, municipal governments create zones in which the increased property tax revenues from new projects are used for things like nearby streets and sewers. Once the amenities are paid off, only then would schools, counties, and technical colleges get a share of those additional taxes.

Senate Republican Jerry Petrowski of Marathon sponsored the TIF town bill, after a special measure was created last session to grant the financing powers so mail order distributing firms could locate near freeways south of Milwaukee.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)