Tax Incremental Finance (TIF)

What to Consider Before Creating a Tax Incremental District (TID)

The following questions are for municipal officials to consider before creating a TID. Discussion of these questions with your overlying taxing jurisdictions, consultant, attorney, financial officer, and developer will help ensure that your community is creating a TID for the right reasons with clear goal(s) for a positive outcome.

  1. Would the expected development occur without the use of tax incremental financing (TIF)? This is the "But for" test.

  2. How does the development in the TID fit into the overall economic picture of your municipality? Is the development consistent with an existing Comprehensive Plan? Are the potential businesses beneficial for the community in the long term?

  3. How does this TID benefit the property taxpayers? Is the total expenditure for eligible project costs feasible? Will the municipality be able to fund the costs prior to receiving the first increment dollars?

  4. Who will take responsibility for all filing requirements after the TID is created and upon termination?

  5. How are the municipality, school, county and technical school districts impacted by the TID? Increased population, traffic impacts, fire and police protection, EMS, water, sewer, administrative services, increased student population and demand for training, housing needs, etc.

  6. What are the risks to a municipality considering a TIF project?

  7. How many and what kind of jobs will this development create?

  8. Does the developer need a public subsidy? If so, how is the benefit analyzed? Is there a written developer's agreement with the required notice?

  9. What written assurances does the municipality have that the development and/or redevelopment will happen as anticipated? Will the developer guarantee receipt of the projected increment?

  10. If there is an economic downturn, how will this affect repayment of the project costs? Is the municipality in the position to do take on these costs?


Wisconsin Department of Revenue
Attn: Office of Technical and Assessment Services
PO Box 8971, MS 6-97
Madison, WI 53708-8971
Phone (608) 266-5708
Fax (608) 264-6897
Email additional questions to

March 22, 2013