A $115 million plan to combat displacement, increase home ownership, and maximize economic opportunities for South Madison could be on the horizon.
It’s through an economic development tool called Tax Incremental Financing, or TIF. Under TIF, the city draws boundaries on a map. That’s called a Tax Incremental District, or TID. And this district is given money by the city to start development or infrastructure projects that would not be otherwise possible.
The tax revenue from that completed development pays back the money to the city, usually over the course of several decades..
The proposed TIF district is bounded by Fish Hatchery Road, Wingra Creek, John Nolen Drive, and the Belline. It would fund $50 million in public works projects, $22 million toward affordable housing, $15 million for community revitalization projects, and nearly $20 million for economic and community development, including for small businesses.
Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes Conway says investing in South Madison is particularly important.
“In particular South Madison is a historically Black community and has experienced disinvestment and underinvestment over the years and so I think it’s important for our whole community that we are making thoughtful and community engaged investments.”
It’s part of a long-term plan to invest more in South Madison, which is home to the city’s most diverse population.
Last year around this time, the city passed the South Madison Plan, which gives a roadmap for the future of the South Madison area. Guiding principles include increased economic growth, housing, home ownership and promoting equity in community development.
South Madison Alder Sheri Carter, who represents District 13, says that this specific area has been a city focus since the South Madison plan last year.
“Well I think that all the work we’ve done leading up to this moment has paved the path for the TIF district.”
Alder Carter says there are several projects the city is working on in that area right now. These include the Village on Park Street renovations, the Black Business Hub, Center Hispano’s new building and the Center for Black Excellence.
If approved, this would be the fourth TIF district on Madison’s south side.
Matthew Mikolajewski, economic development director for the city, says that the South Madison district is unique. The city realized that they will not have the funds right away to start major projects. So they are borrowing money from two healthy TIDs in Madison, districts 36 and 37, to get started. These districts have enough revenue to pay off their debts and some extra to lend to this new TID, which would be TID 51.
TID 51 is slated to come before various committees this spring. If approved, Mikolajewski says they would start construction right away. He says this is a 27 year TID, which means the city can use TID funds for 22 years, as they have to stop using funds 5 years before expiration.
Mayor Satya Rhodes Conway adds that a big focus of the plan is on preventing displacement. They heard from the community that this is a big problem in that area so they want to help.
“But in this TID in particular, one of the top priorities of the community was that we focus on preventing people from being displaced from the community.”
Reporting for W-O-R-T News, I’m Abigail Leavins.
Photo Courtesy of Matthew Kulik on WORT Flickr