MADISON, Wis. – Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) is proud that his bipartisan bill that allows the Town of Gibraltar to create a tax incremental district has been signed into law.
The town is seeking the TID to pay for the installation of sanitary sewer lines and an interceptor that will service more than 100 proposed workforce housing units. The interceptor will also open up additional land for potentially even more workforce housing.
“It is no secret that we are currently facing a severe labor shortage in Wisconsin and a lack of affordable housing is one of the main factors. However, I don’t know of any area in the state where this problem is more urgent than in the Town of Gibraltar,” Rep. Kitchens said.
“While northern Door County is well known for its thriving tourism industry, it is also home to a very large number of retirees,” he added. “Even though the town’s property values are high, the average income of its residents is more modest. It is almost impossible for health care employees, teachers and other workers in that community to find affordable housing.”
Under current state law, a town may only establish a TID if the equalized value of all its taxable property is at least $500 million and its population is at least 3,500.
This law was put into place to protect taxpayers who reside in smaller municipalities with lower property values. While the Town of Gibraltar falls short of the population requirement, its taxable property of nearly $1 billion far exceeds the equalized value provision.
Without the TID exemption, town officials say they would not have enough funding to complete the workforce housing project, which is sorely needed to help address the labor shortage in northeast Wisconsin.