RACINE — Local taxing bodies have given the green light to the city’s latest tax incremental financing districts, designed to help fund improvements in two areas of the city.

In a meeting that took fewer than 10 minutes, the Standing Joint Review Board on Monday gave approval for proposed TIDs 22 and 23, the final approval needed for them to be implemented.

On Sept. 30, the City Council approved the proposed TIDs with only two hours to spare before the Oct. 1 deadline.

At Monday’s Joint Review Board meeting, Matthew Sadowski of the City Development Department gave a brief presentation on the proposal before the vote. The two districts, one located on the northeast side of the city, the other on the southeast side, are designed to capture funds from valuation increases in those neighborhoods to put toward home improvement loans or grants for homeowners and infrastructure projects.

City officials have stated they intend to base the loan or grant program on the Rebuild Racine program, which offers loans of $500 to $20,000 to homeowners to correct code violations.

Rebuild Racine was funded with $680,000 that came with the closure of TID 8. Since the program launched in mid-March, over half of the funds — $420,000 — has been approved for 21 applicants.

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Officials have until 2021 to flesh out the details of the loan and the grant program.

At Monday’s meeting of the Joint Review Board, City Administrator Jim Palenick, Racine County Finance Director Brian Nelson, Racine Unified Board President Brian O’Connell and Sharon Johnson, vice President of finance and administration at Gateway Technical College, unanimously gave the proposals the final approval needed.

While the new TIDs are in place, the districts will not get their share of increased valuation revenue in the districts, which will be used for the loan and grants.

The model for the The TIDs’ plans will need to be submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue by Oct. 31.

The TIDs will not affect the total property tax levy the city collects since state law limits levy increases so they are tied to new construction, not increased valuation. But the TIDs could slow down the lowering of the city’s tax rate, which is one of the highest in the state.

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Christina Lieffring covers the City of Racine and the City of Burlington and is a not-bad photographer. In her spare time she tries to keep her plants and guinea pigs alive and happy.

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