On January 17th, CARW Policy Committee Members and Board met with Attorney General Brad Schimel to discuss is recent defense of a key Foxconn incentive at the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The incentive is used by many CARW members who use TIF. Members had contacted the Association office looking for clarification on the case and the potential impact it may have on their projects.
In the pending case of Voters With Facts v. City of Eau Claire, which was filed by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), Attorney General Schimel filed an amicus brief opposing WILL’s lawsuit and supporting Wisconsin’s tax-increment financing (TIF) law. WILL has argued that the TIF law is unconstitutional, thereby potentially putting at risk many TIFs in Wisconsin, including the upcoming Foxconn project.
“Wisconsin law unequivocally allows local cities and towns to use TIFs to promote economic development, and this law is plainly constitutional,” said Attorney General Schimel. “The attorney general’s job is to defend Wisconsin law, and defending the law in this particular case is critical to the success of Foxconn.”
TIFs have been part of Wisconsin law since 1975. There are over 1,000 TIFs active in Wisconsin in hundreds of municipalities. Many TIFs have proven massively successful for Wisconsin’s economy. For example, the City of Verona’s TIF promoted the development of Epic Systems, and Verona closed the TIF with a surplus of $21 million, of which $11 million went directly to the Verona Area School District.
A hearing is scheduled on this case in February, 2018.
Relevant court filings are attached.
(some of this text was pulled from the DOJ)