Wisconsin’s High Court Affirms Use of Economic Incentives

On June 6, the Wisconsin Supreme Court delivered a big victory for economic development in Wisconsin. In Voters with Facts v. City of Eau Claire, the court reaffirmed the important role that tax increment financing (TIF) plays in economic development and the continued need for flexibility at the local level in deciding how best to utilize this tool. Our State association filed an amicus brief supporting the Wisconsin DA’s file on the case.  As a result of this decision, the Foxconn grant for TIF is preserved.

The court upheld the discretionary nature of key determinations made by local elected officials on a variety of issues related to TIF, including whether a property is blighted and whether the use of TIF is necessary.

As the Wisconsin Supreme Court noted, Wisconsin Statutes established that these decisions are inherently legislative determinations, not to be second-guessed by courts. A different ruling could have subjected every use of TIF to a legal challenge by anti-TIF groups, which would have resulted in significant delays and costs for affected economic development projects.

See the case file HERE.

Click HERE for the US News coverage.

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