Tax Incremental Finance (TIF) - General

  1. What is the difference between TIF and a Tax Incremental District (TID)?

  2. What is the Wisconsin Department of Revenue's (DOR) role?

  3. What statutes regulate the TIF program?

  4. How is TIF funded?

  5. Besides a municipality, what are the other taxing entities?

  6. Are there limits on the use of TIF?

  7. What is the TID maximum life with or without extensions?

  8. How can I obtain information (ex: map, parcels) about a particular TID?

  9. What fees are involved with having a TID and how does a municipality pay them?

  10. What are some due dates relating to having a TID?

  1. What is the difference between TIF and a Tax Incremental District (TID)?

    • TIF – an economic development program which helps promote local tax base expansion by using property tax revenues to fund site improvements to attract new industrial or mixed-use development, rehabilitate/conserve property, eliminate blight and remediate the environment

    • TID – the actual physical area (whole parcels) designated for expansion where improvements are being made

  2. What is the Wisconsin Department of Revenue's (DOR) role?

    • The TIF program is intended to be locally initiated and locally managed, with minimal State oversight. However, DOR cannot certify a tax incremental base until we determine procedures were followed, documents were completed correctly, and notices were provided timely.

    • Facts supporting any document adopted or action taken by the local governing body are not subject to review by DOR. The responsibility for specific TIF expenditures belongs to the municipality with consultation from its attorney and auditor.

    • If you have questions about a specific project in a TID, contact the municipality or the members of the Joint Review Board (JRB) that approved the TID project plan and boundaries.

  3. What statutes regulate the TIF Program?


  4. How is TIF funded?

    When a TID is created, the municipality and other taxing entities agree to support their normal operations from the existing tax base within the district, assuming that if the TID was not created, there would be no additional growth to the existing tax base. Property taxes for the school, county, technical college, and municipality are based on the taxable value of the TID at the time it is created. The tax rates are applied to the TID value increment, which results in additional revenues collected for the district's fund. Eligible TID costs are paid from these revenues before the additional tax base is shared.

    The State of Wisconsin does not collect or pay increments to municipal governments.

  5. Besides a municipality, what are the other taxing entities?

    The other taxing entities are the school district, county, and technical college. A municipality may also have a lake district, sanitary district or metro sewer district.

  6. Are there limits on the use of TIF?

    Yes. Limits are applied to the creation of new districts or the addition of property to existing districts. The equalized value of property in the district, plus the value increment of all existing districts cannot exceed 12 percent of the total equalized value of taxable property within the municipality. This restriction does not apply to an Environmental Remediation TID or when subtracting territory from a district. For more information, review our Value Limit Test Common Questions.

  7. What is the TID maximum life with or without extensions?

    The maximum TID life depends on the TID type and when it was created. The date the municipality adopts the creation resolution is the creation date. The TID type is declared in the resolution. For more information on TID's maximum life by type, review the TID Criteria Matrix.

  8. How can I obtain information (ex: map, parcels) about a particular TID?

    For information on a particular TID, contact the municipality. You can also review yearly statistical information on DOR's website, under Tax Incremental Financing Reports.

  9. What fees are involved with having a TID and how does a municipality pay them?

    A municipality must pay the following fees electronically through My Tax Account:
    Payable by October 31
    • Creation: $1,000
    • Territory Amendment (addition or subtraction): $1,000
    • Territory Amendment (addition and subtraction): $2,000
    • Base Value Redetermination: $1,000

    Payable by April 15
    • Yearly administrative fee: $150 per active TID
      • Effective January 1, 2018: TID administrative fee deadline changes from May 15 to April 15. For more information, review 2017 Act 15.

  10. What are some due dates relating to having a TID?

    Due dates:
    • April 15 – Certification Form
      • Effective January 1, 2018: TID certification deadline changes from May 15 to April 15. For more information, review 2017 Act 15.
    • July 1 – Annual Report (late fee of $100 per TID per day applicable)
    • October 31 – Creations, Territory Amendments, and Base Value Redeterminations
    • December 31 – Project Plan and/or Allocation Amendments, Environmental Remediation Creations

    See TID Dates and Requirements for additional information.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

MS 6-97
WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
Office of Technical and Assessment Services
PO Box 8971
Madison, WI 53708-8971
Phone: (608) 261-5335 or (608) 266-5708
Email additional questions to ​tif@wisconsin.gov

​July 13, 2017