July 31, 2017          No. 29

2017-18, No. 29
July 31, 2017

In this Issue:

Foxconn Bill Modifies TIF

Urban Revitalization Committee Update

Phosphorus Letter to WI Congressional Delegation

In the News

Recently Introduced Legislation

Public Hearings
League of Wisconsin Municipalities
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Foxconn Legislation Modifies TIF and Bidding Laws 

Last Friday, Governor Walker  called a Special Session of the Legislature to consider legislation that would bring Foxconn, the world's largest electronics manufacturing services provider, to Wisconsin. Governor Walker's executive order requires the Legislature to commence the Special Session at 11 a.m. on August 1. 

The bill proposes a huge state income tax credit package as well as $150 million sales tax "holiday." It also includes bonding for completion of the north-south component of the I-94 upgrade in Racine County.  

In addition, the bill makes the following changes for local governments that host and provide services to Foxxconn:

TIF Law changes.  The bill creates a number of exceptions to TIF law for TIDs created in an area that includes an electronics and information technology manufacturing zone, as created by the special legislation. 
  • The TID that is created must be an industrial site or mixed-use TID.
  • The 12 percent rule relating to the percentage of a community's total equalized value within a TID does not apply.
  • The city or village creating the TID may incur expenditures for project costs for any territory outside the TID but within the same county as the TID, provided the expenditures benefit the TID.
  • Instead of limiting to 20 years the period during which DOR may allocate positive tax increments, the allocation period is 30 years.
  • The TID must terminate in 30 years, instead of 20 as under current law.  
Grants to Local Governments.  The bill authorizes the Department of Administration to make grants to local governments for costs associated with development in an electronics and information technology manufacturing zone, including costs related to infrastructure and public safety.  DOA may require a local government to match a grant in whole or part.

Design-Build Construction.  The bill authorizes a city or village in which an electronics and information technology zone is located to contract for the acquisition of water and sewer systems, and wastewater treatment facilities, using the design build system without following the ordinary competitive bidding process.  

Read the Foxconn special legislation bill draft here.
Update on Urban Revitalization Committee Activities

Last week, the Wheeler Report published an interview with Rep. Bob Gannon, Chair of the Assembly Urban Revitalization Committee, and Rep. Jason Fields, vice-chair of the committee. In the interview Rep. Gannon commented on the committee's recently completed series of public hearings in six cities around the state. Gannon said the issues the committee heard about the most were: mental health, housing, prison, fathers and child support, police and community relations, crime, job training, and transportation. Rep. Jason Fields agreed that the issues raised were consistent in all six communities, saying the top three issues were transportation, affordable housing, and mental health.

Read the full interview here.  
TAKE ACTION - Sign the Phosphorus Letter to Congress

We are asking all village presidents and mayors to sign a joint letter to Wisconsin's Senators and Congressional Delegation asking them to provide relief from Wisconsin's strict and costly phosphorus standard set by the DNR under the auspices of the EPA and the Clean Water Act. The deadline for signing the letter is September 1, 2017.

Read the letter and learn more about this effort here.
In the News

Foxconn subsidies could mean heavy borrowing for local municipalities
But local governments will almost certainly have to put up huge undisclosed subsidies of their own through a financing program known as tax incremental financing. Changes to that program will have to be made to ensure that local governments can finance the sewer lines, streets and other infrastructure to be built in what are now undeveloped fields, according to the memo of understanding with the state.    Read the full article...
Recently Introduced Legislation  

AB 456, Allowing the Use of Design Build and Requiring that Local Wheel Taxes be Approved by Referendum. This bill makes several changes to state law relating to transportation, including authorizing the Department of Transportation and local governments to use alternate methods for delivering projects. Specifically, t he bill authorizes governmental units to deliver projects using four alternative methods: 1. "Design-build," in which architectural, surveying, engineering, construction, and related services for a project are provided by a single contractor. 2. "Design-build-finance," in which the design and construction services for a project are provided by a single entity and financing is provided in whole or in part by the same entity. 3. "Construction manager-general contractor," a two-phase method in which all services unrelated to construction are provided in the first phase by a contractor who, subject to approval by the governmental unit, also provides construction services in the second phase. 4. "Fixed-price variable-scope," in which a contractor provides the maximum amount of work at a cost not to exceed the price fixed by the governmental unit. 

Wheel Tax.  The bill provides that a county or municipal vehicle registration fee, commonly known as a wheel tax, may be imposed only if approved by a majority of electors voting in a referendum at a regularly scheduled election. The referendum requirement also applies retroactively to any communities that currently have a local registration fee in place.

Roundabouts.  The bill provides that no roundabout may be constructed as part of a highway project unless the authority in charge of the highway project obtains approval for the roundabout from the governing body of the municipality where the proposed roundabout would be located.

By Rep. Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin). The League opposes the wheel tax changes in this bill, but supports authorizing the use of design build.  Comment on this bill to the League.
Public Hearings  

No public hearings on municipal bills are scheduled for this week.