CITY OF RACINE – The City’s two newest Tax Increment Districts (TIF) are drawing close to reality. Officials intend to use property tax dollars to improve the overall housing quality and public infrastructure in two city areas. 

The Joint Review Board approved two districts — the City’s 27th and 28th — on Tuesday. City officials expect the development projects to improve the housing stock and increase the City’s property tax value by about $20 million.

What is a TIF? 

A TIF is a funding mechanism used by local governments to pay for improvements to specific areas. A portion of property taxes in a TIF is set aside for particular projects.

City officials plan to use “loans, grants and other financial mechanisms” to pay for the project, according to documents from the Racine Department of City Development. The new TIF programs will “strive to invest 75 percent of the funds in residential improvements.”

The remaining 25 percent of the property tax funding will be invested in public infrastructures such as curb and gutter repair, road resurfacing, stormwater/sanitary sewer repair and replacement and installation/repair of broadband internet infrastructure.

How does it benefit the City?

TIF #27 is projected to generate $13.6 million over a 27-year lifespan, while TIF #28 will generate $6.2 million over its 27-year lifespan.

TIF #27 contains 492 acres on the City’s near northwest side. The area is roughly bounded by Northwestern Avenue on the east, Prospect Street and Graceland Avenue on the south, Roosevelt Avenue on the west, Racine city limits, and Meadowbrook and Racine Country Clubs on the north.

TIF #28 contains 267 acres in the west-central portion of the City. The area Is roughly bounded by the Root River on the east, Kinzie Avenue on the south, Blaine Avenue on the west and Prospect Avenue/Colonial Park on the north.

The new TIFs will join 20 other open TIFs within the City. Racine’s first TIF was created in 1980. The most recent, TIF #26, was completed earlier this year. To learn more about the current Tax Incremental Financing and TIFs, visit the City’s BuildUP Racine page.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.