Media

From Express News published on January 23, 2020

By Katie Kress
Menomonee Falls has nine Tax Incremental Finance (TIF) districts ; TIFs 1-5 have closed while TIFs 6-14 are open, some have been incredibly successful while others have languished. A TIF is supposed to be a designed area that is given enhancements like water, sewer, and road development. TIF funds are typically given through a bond, which, as the new development begins generating money, is repaid through tax revenues.

Until the bond is paid back, no new property tax is added to the tax rolls, which can take up to 20 years. TIFs can be rolled into other TIFs in order to prolong the period before new property tax is added. For instance, it is fairly common for successful TIFs to direct revenues into failing TIFs. Unfortunately, taxpayers are forced to cover the burden of increasing property value for TIF developments until the bonds have been repaid. Taxpayers, however, can only cover so much, meaning that municipalities, counties, K-12 education, technical colleges, increasing police and fire department needs across Wisconsin lack the funds that would be raised by these developments.

We must remember that every TIF  is different, along with the differing financing proposals for each specific project. For this reason, I am not opposed to all TIFs. In the beginning, TIFs were to be used for blighted areas or locations with environmental issues where development may not be beneficial. TIFs were also to be used to take formerly abandoned properties and return them to the tax rolls. When TIFs are used correctly, the system can have a great benefit to Wisconsin and its taxpayers.

Unfortunately, misuse of the TIF system has prompted almost all development to use this tool in real estate. TIFs were supposed to pass the “but for…” test before being used, as in, “but for this TIF, development would not happen in this area…” Currently, developers seek the additional funds offered with TIFs, meaning we, the taxpayers fund winners and losers. Is Menomonee Falls subsidizing private development that may have happened in the free market?

Katie Kress is a trustee on the Menomonee Falls Village Board
Thank You!
Announcement
Thank you to all the residents that came out and voted.  I am grateful to have another opportunity to serve the Village of Menomonee Falls.  Thank you Paul Broesch for a good race.

Thank you to all that gave of your time during this campaign and Menomonee Falls Taxpayer group for your support.

Thank you Janel Brandtjen, Trustee Paul Tadda and Trustee Jeremy Walz for the endorsement.

- Trustee Katie Kress
Taxpayer Alert!  State Representative Janel Brandtjen endorses Katie Kress and Chris Smolik for Menomonee Falls Village Board.
Be sure to vote conservative April 4th
Village taxes are finally going down. Why would we replace these two conservatives?


Read more on Facebook
"I enthusiastically endorse Katie Kress (Seat 1) and Chris Smolik (Seat 2) for Village of Menomonee Falls Trustee. They are reliably against TIF funded crony capitalism. The "good old boy" network that brought you the Radisson Hotel debacle, in which the Village Taxpayers lost $8 million, wants the ability to play king maker again. The leadership of Trustees Kress and Smolik are preventing the further abuse of TIF's and the "good old boys" are not happy. Please support Trustees Kress and Smolik and say no to TIF funded crony capitalism, no to the Village bureaucrats choosing the wealthy winners and losers and yes to looking out for the average Village taxpayers."
Paul Tadda 
Village Trustee - Seat 6

Read more on Facebook
I have not met or spoken to the candidates running against them but I endorse the fact that Katie Kress and Chris Smolik are solid conservative members of a well-functioning Village Board. Menomonee Falls is a safe community that is experiencing tremendous growth. Katie and Chris are valuable members of the team that is making this happen. I think Katie and Chris' hard work and dedication to Menomonee Falls has earned them another term on the Village Board.

Thank you,
Jeremy Walz

Read more on Facebook