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Council Should Require Referendum On TIF Subsidies Over $1 Million

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Dear Stoughton City Council Members and Mayor

We understand the city is in the process of redrafting the Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) District policy and the Council's Finance Committee will start it work on this topic Tuesday, June 10th, at 5:30 PM.

We, the undersigned, recommend the following:

Recommendation (R)#1: That the city study the TIF policies of Madison and Sun Prairie which both have successful TIF districts and strong policies.

R #2: That the city invite to a public finance committee meeting a TIF expert from Madison and an expert from Sun P., ask them to outline the strengths of their policies, solicit their advice on improving the Stoughton TIF policy, and outline one of their successful TIF districts.

R #3: That the city create a city ordinance to replace the present TIF policy.

R #4: That, in that ordinance, the city:

A. Require any TIF subsidy requestor to submit a detailed request and justification for public funding and that the documents submitted be public record;

B. Require city staff/consultants to conduct a rigorous financial analysis of the request and that the analysis be public record;

C. Require city staff make recommendations to the council regarding the subsidy issue at a public hearing which includes a public comment period;

D. Require in the ordinance that a binding referendum be submitted to city voters prior to the city approval of any TIF subsidy to a developer/corporation of $1 million or over and that the developer/corporation be required to pay the city costs of any such referendum.

R #5. Given that the council has passed a moratorium on all Kettle Park West (KPW) approvals until the required Economic and Fiscal Impact Study by the consultants is completed, submitted, discussed and the issue of whether to proceed or not to proceed with the KPW project is made by the council, we, the undersigned, request that the council require the city staff to utilize the new TIF ordinance to make the staff determination as to whether the city should proceed with creating a KPW TIF district and whether the city should provide the developer with any level of TIF funded subsidy.

Thank you for your consideration of our recommendations!

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