MADISON, WI…State Sen. André Jacque (R-De Pere) today said the Town of Gibraltar will have the gap financing tool it requested to address a shortage of affordable housing, now that legislation he authored has been signed into law.
“I have been pleased to work with Gibraltar Town Administrator Travis Thysse to help the town construct much-needed workforce housing for the area,” Sen. Jacque said. “While a shortage of affordable housing is a concern throughout the state, the high property values in northern Door County make the problem particularly severe and I am pleased with the extremely high level of local support for this project.”
Tax incremental financing (TIF) enables local governments to fund public infrastructure improvements (sewer, roads, etc.) by borrowing against future property tax revenue increases generated by development within a designated district, and using the increased revenues to repay that debt in the future. However, while Gibraltar has nearly twice the $500 million minimum equalized taxable property value required to use this financing tool, it falls about 2,000 residents short of the 3,000 population requirement.
Sen. Jacque said the new law (Assembly Bill 914) incorporates taxpayer safeguards ensuring that the district will end within 10 years, and that the development agreement includes a letter of credit that guarantees repayment of the debt service on the project costs.
“The town is seeking to establish a tax incremental district (TID) to pay for the installation of sanitary sewer lines and an interceptor that will service 102 workforce housing units,” Sen. Jacque said. “That interceptor will also open up additional land for future development, including more affordable homes that will attract the skilled working professionals the town economy needs to remain growing and vibrant.”
Sen. Jacque said the City of Sturgeon Bay and the Village of Sister Bay have established TIDs to finance public infrastructure. This provision grants an exemption allowing Gibraltar to also establish a TID, which the State legislature has done for other towns in the past. Sen. Jacque has also been an active proponent of Door County’s workforce housing pilot project as a member of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.
“This was a reasonable request by Gibraltar to address its labor shortage that fits past precedent,” Sen. Jacque said. “State law has provided the same financing mechanism to other towns that otherwise could not have afforded to build the infrastructure necessary to support crucial economic development projects that create jobs, attract workers, and grow the local tax base.”
Senator André Jacque represents Northeast Wisconsin’s First Senate District, consisting of Door and Kewaunee Counties and portions of Brown, Calumet, Manitowoc, and Outagamie counties.