Wisconsin REALTORS® Association
Press Release

New Study Shows Economic Impact of Tax Increment Financing on Wisconsin

For every $1 of investment within a Wisconsin TIF district, $4.66 of additional tax base is created.

By - Nov 13th, 2019 08:00 am

(Madison, Wis.) – In a joint effort, Wisconsin’s Chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, and the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association released a new report on Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The report titled “Tax Increment Financing: An Analysis of Wisconsin’s Most Important Economic Development Tool” shows the economic impact of TIF on Wisconsin’s economy, totaling $4.66 of additional tax base for every $1 of investment. Initially developed with the intention to eliminate blight, the TIF has proved to be a powerhouse tool to attract investment, development, and jobs to the Badger State.

TIF’s initial origins were in blight elimination and urban renewal, yet have grown into an instrumental tool for economic developers to attract jobs to their communities. With TIF becoming more attractive as a development tool, it is prudent for Wisconsin’s leaders to review the ability for developers to use it as a means to attract jobs and investment compared to other states.

“TIF is an important tool for economic development throughout Wisconsin,” said Jim Villa CEO of NAIOP’s Wisconsin Chapter. “While some detractors are attempting to limit the benefits that this tool gives our state, the report clearly shows the dramatic economic impact TIF makes in our communities.”

“In order to attract development and jobs to Wisconsin, we must continue to provide the kind of investment opportunities that other states simply do not have,” said Tom Larson, the WRA’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs. “This report shows that our state is in a unique position to be a haven for economic development if the proper tools are in place.”

Key Findings in the report:

  • For every $1 of investment within a Wisconsin TIF district, $4.66 of additional tax base is created.
  • Between 2009 and 2016, TIF districts that closed had been open for, on average, 16.37 years.
  • During that same time period the TIF districts return on investment (total investment vs. incremental value created) was 427%.
  • Wisconsin has been a leader in the national shift of using TIF from blight removal to a use for broader economic development purposes.
  • Maintaining and enhancing the flexibility currently afforded under the state TIF statute will allow Wisconsin to compete for investment and jobs regionally, nationally, and internationally.

To view the entire report, please click HERE.

The Wisconsin REALTORS® Association is one of the largest trade associations in the state of Wisconsin, representing over 16,400 professionals statewide. Its membership includes REALTORS®, appraisers, home inspectors, affiliate members and other professionals involved with the real estate process. Members can take full advantage of a wide variety of products and services to assist with day-to-day business, including a legal staff, education offerings and political representation, as well as several print and online publications.

NAIOP Wisconsin is a Chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.  Founded in 1967, NAIOP has become the leading organization for developers, owners, and investors of office, industrial, retail, multi-family, and mixed-use real estate.  NAIOP represents nearly 20,000 members and provides strong public policy advocacy, education, and business opportunities through a powerful North American network.

Wisconsin REALTORS® Association
4801 Forest Run Road, Ste. 201
Madison, WI 53704-7337

NAIOP Wisconsin, Commercial Real Estate Development Association
250 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 700
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Mentioned in This Press Release


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The report, authored by University of Wisconsin’s Graaskamp Center for Real Estate Director, Dr. Mark J. Eppli, Ph.D, was compiled based upon the most recently available data.

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