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Tax Increment Financing in Southeastern Wisconsin

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is southeastern Wisconsin’s largest economic development tool. With 176 TIF districts
and $8.4 billion in property value, the collective tax base devoted to TIF districts in our region ranks behind only the
city of Milwaukee among our region’s largest tax bases. Despite the impressive scale of TIF in the seven‐county area, the tool is used less here than in the rest of the state. Whether that’s due to reluctance or lack of need is unclear. What is clear is that if the region decides that it can become more aggressive with TIF, it has sufficient capacity. It’s critical that we know where this capacity exists and how best TIF can be deployed to shape the region’s future growth. After all, economic development needs finance.

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