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Green Bay looks at TID performances

By Heather Graves

GREEN BAY – Redevelopment in the Legends District and the Shipyard project are on the docket for the city’s next Tax Increment Financing Districts (TIDs) and a failing TID that was meant to jumpstart an industrial park on University Avenue.

These and all the TIDs in the city were given a closer look at the TID Joint Review Committee meeting, Thursday, June 27.

State law requires that municipalities review their TIDs annually, by July 1.

The joint review board is made up representatives from each of the overlapping governments that receive property taxes.

The City Green Bay currently has 15 active TIDs supporting a wide variety of projects.

A TID may be created by the city to fund improvements and redevelopment projects.

The land value before the TID is created is known as the tax base.

The amount the land value within the district has increased above the base value after improvements is considered the increment, which is then used to pay off the debt on infrastructure within that district, with property taxes going to the TID instead of the various taxing entities.

Overall, the city’s TIDs did well in 2018 with only a handful ending the year with a negative fund balance.

Many of these, however, have recently completed projects that will be incurring tax increments in 2019 to bring the fund balance back in the positive, said Finance Director Diana Ellenbecker.

The main one that has caused concern for the city is TID 9 or University Heights.

“This was one of those build-it-and-it-will-come projects – that didn’t happen,” said Development Director Kevin Vonck.

TID 9 was meant to be an industrial park, but that didn’t take off.

“Despite efforts of trying to bring people out there, we just did not get development moving,” Vonck said. “They would rather be in the I-43 (industrial park). That is why we are in the process of looking at expanding I-43, because that is where businesses want to be.”

Staff is looking at options for early closure of TID 9 – but Vonck said that it will most likely require some allocations from other TIDs to be able to close it down.

“After three years of making a concerted push, we have kind of seen the writing on the wall and this one is just not going to turn around,” Vonck said.

Last year saw the creation of two new TIDs.

TID 20 and TID 21 were both created in September 2018 and are off to good starts, Vonck said.

TID 20, or Whitney Park, encompasses the Whitney Park Townhomes – a downtown single-family living option; and 901 Main – offering one- and two-bedroom apartments above first-floor commercial space.

Both of these are set to open in 2019.

“Projects are ready to move,” Vonck said. “The TID is off to a good start.”

TID 21, or Green Bay Packaging, includes the construction of the new mill.

“They are moving forward on a pretty aggressive schedule,” Vonck said.

Proposals for two additional TIDs for this year are currently in the planning stages for pending development and redevelopment.

TID 22 will include the new Shipyard project – the city’s plan to shape the downtown waterfront.

“We are looking to create that TID for new development to help support the Shipyard and some of the borrowing we’ve done for that,” Vonck said. “We are moving forward – you’ll probably be seeing dirt moving out there very shortly.”

The other proposed addition is TID 23, which is near the already established TID 7 – located on the border area with Ashwaubenon.

“We moved forward earlier with the Legacy Hotel project – so we would like to create a TID to capture this parcel and we have a lot of vacant parking lots, vacant land (around there) and we’ve been in discussions with future development projects in that area.”

TID 7, which was started in 2002, is older and getting ready to retire soon, so in its place the city would like to transition to a new TID, Vonck said.

He said staff will bring back formal proposals for the TID additions to the committee in the next couple of months.

The City Council must give approval to the proposed additions.

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