By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – To make the village’s Tax Incremental District (TID) No. 5 more financially stable, the Ashwaubenon Plan Commission recommended Sept. 7 the district be amended by adding properties to the south.
Community Development Director Aaron Schuette said TID No. 5 was set up as a blight elimination district.
“The area it covers is basically the stadium district, entertainment area and (it) also comes down this far south to include the Capital Credit Union Park stadium,” he said.
Schuette said TID No. 5 was expanded in 2018 to add 13 parcels, which included land where the multi-use stadium was constructed south of the village hall, while the latest proposed expansion is to only change the boundaries with no specific projects planned.
“There are no project plan amendments,” he said. “This is strictly a boundary amendment to try to identify and capture a couple of properties that we believe may develop and may potentially need TID assistance.”
Schuette said the map for the proposed TID amendment is “a little unique.”
“The proposal is to connect TID No. 5 via the CN rail properties to the south of the village, connect through WPS over through the Reserve Center property, include the Subway and car dealership, and then connect across the interchange at (Interstate) 41 to the old Menards property,” he said. “As you can see, it does capture a couple of other properties here, hopefully, to capture some additional increment and/or project that may or may not develop over the next few years.”
Schuette said he hopes the proposed amendment can “facilitate some development, as well as try to financially stabilize TID No. 5.”
“It is doing fine overall, based upon a projection,” he said. “It is projected to finish in the black. However, as we all know, considering we just went through COVID and we had 2008 issues, we want to make sure that when we set this up, that it will no doubt finish in the black to the benefit of residents in the village.”
Following the commission’s recommendation to amend the TID boundary, Schuette said the next step would be for the village board to take action, which it is scheduled to do Sept. 28.
He said then it would go back next month for final approval to the TID No. 5 Joint Review Board, which consists of representatives of each of the property taxing entities in Ashwaubenon and a public member.
Tax revenue raised from new property value created in the TID would be able to be used for public improvements made in the district, such as road or utility work.
Instead of the additional property tax revenue having to be split among the various taxing entities, the money could go toward paying off the TID debt.
Village Manager Joel Gregozeski said the TID No. 5 amendment “looks a little unusual” on the map.
“Primarily, you really are trying to focus on a TID area that is somewhat compact in nature,” he said. “However, compactness is not a requirement of TID creation or TID amendment.”
Gregozeski said it’s required the TID be contiguous in nature, which can extend through right-of-ways, whether it be a railroad or state Department of Transportation right-of-way.
“You kind of see this elongated approach,” he said. “And that, again, it’s just to really target very specific properties and not kind of create this overall blanketed approach to the TID.”
Gregozeski said the timing of the TID amendment is to capture base value of the properties in this current fiscal year, prior to new base values being determined Jan. 1.
“That added financial benefit will support and bolster the financial outcome of the TID going forward until closure,” he said.
Schuette said the village currently has three TIDs in place, Nos. 3, 4 and 5, and is approaching the limit of 12% of the municipality’s value being in them.
“If we add many more properties in, we’ll go up against what’s called a 12% threshold for the amount of valuation you can have within a TID distinct or multiple TID districts,” he said. “Initially, we did look at including quite a few more properties, and we bumped up against that threshold.”
Schuette said the village could close out TID No. 4 next year, after which concern about approaching the 12% threshold “won’t necessarily be an issue.”
“We can amend the boundaries of TID No. 5 again, although realistically, (what) we might be looking at is setting up a new TID, either project-specific, if there is a specific property that we’re looking at that really needs to be focused on, or more holistically, (a) larger area that we might want to look at from a larger perspective,” he said.
Schuette said one additional property not shown on the map the commission received, the old Microtel property, which recently sold, could be worked into some larger development for the old Menards site and is being added into proposed TID amendment.
“If at some point that property develops as a whole, I want to make sure that we don’t run into boundary issues between the TID and the properties,” he said.