Tax Incremental Finance (TIF) - What to Consider Before Creating a Tax Incremental District (TID)

The following are questions municipal officials should consider before creating a TID. Discuss these questions with your overlying taxing jurisdictions, consultant, attorney, financial officer and developer to determine whether creating a TID is right for your community.


  1. Would the expected development occur without the use of TIF? Would the development occur if the project was scaled back or the timeframe pushed out? Did similar projects proceed without the use of TIF? (This is the "But for" test).

  2. How does the development in the TID fit into the overall economic picture of your municipality? Is the development consistent with an existing comprehensive land-use plan? Will the potential businesses benefit the community in the long term?

  3. How does this TID benefit the property taxpayers? Is the total expenditure for eligible project costs feasible? Will the municipality be able to fund the costs before receiving the first increment?

  4. Who (Clerk, Treasurer, Economic Development Coordinator) will take responsibility for the municipality's annual filing requirements after the TID is created and when it terminates?

  5. How are the municipality, school, county and technical school districts impacted by the TID? Consider items, such as: increased population, traffic impact, fire and police protection, emergency medical services, water, sewer, administrative services, increased student population, demand for training or housing.

  6. What are the risks to a municipality considering a TIF project?

  7. How many and what kind of jobs will this development create?

  8. Does the developer need a public subsidy? If so, how is the benefit analyzed? Is there a written developer's agreement? Was the public informed of the developer's subsidy (cash grant) in the required notice?

  9. What written assurances does the municipality have that the development and/or redevelopment will occur as anticipated? Will the developer guarantee receipt of the projected increment?

  10. If there is an economic downturn, how will this affect repayment of the project costs? Is the municipality in the position to take on these costs?

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

May 4, 2018