Middleton Town Board Wants To Talk TIF With City of Madison

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MTT News Desk's picture
Kevin Murphy

The Town of Middleton will see if City of Madison officials are interested in forming a tax incremental financing (TIF) district to spur development in the Seybold Road properties remaining in the town. (The location in question is on an island of town land in a sea of city, which is near Woodman’s grocery store and was created through years of annexation.)

Board Supervisor Tim Roehl has been backing a TIF district for the 35.9-acre area east of Gammon Road, saying it would not only boost property tax revenue for the town but also provide the funds to eventually reconstruct Seybold Road.

Creation of a TIF district, or TID, allows the town to borrow and repay the cost of infrastructure improvements from taxes generated by the incremental increase in property value.

Area TIDs have had a 14-year  average lifespan, said Gary Becker, an economic development specialist with Vierbicher Associates, Inc., with the vast majority of TIDs paying off costs early.

The Seybold area in the town will become part of Madison by 2042, according to an intergovernmental agreement, and the city would have to consent to modify the agreement for the TID to be established.

Becker told the town board on Jan. 21 the 36 parcels located between Gammon Road and the former Spectrum Brands headquarters have a current assessed value of $24.5 million. Becker projected the land would increased in value by $12.8 million without a TID but could increase by a maximum of $113.5 million if a high-density development occurred.

Becker based his projection on comparable recently constructed properties near the Beltline such as Arbor Gate at Todd Drive.

Madison has modified a similar agreement it has with the City of Fitchburg and Town of Madison and it will be interested in talking with the town of Middleton in order to redevelop the vacant former Spectrum Brands HQ, Becker said.

“Spectrum Brands’ future could boost area values even higher than we’ve projected,” Becker said.

Becker advised against creating a “purely speculative” TID, instead he advocated completing a plan for the area and soliciting developer interest.

One obstacle to forming a TID is getting most of the 20-some area property owners to cooperate with an interested developer.

Town board members remained unenthused about a TID until Roehl began comparing what it could do for town finances compared to typical residential development.

Each residence in the town contributes about $1,250 in annual tax revenue based on an assessed value of $440,000.

A Seybold Road TID, depending on developed density, could generate projected tax revenue to the town equal to construction of 124 houses per year, said Roehl. Last year permits were issued for 36 new houses, off the 56-house pace the town had recently averaged.

“From an economic sense alone it makes sense to do this,” Roehl said.

“This is all a waste of time unless we talk to Madison,” said Breunig.

The board unanimously authorized Becker and town staff to meet with interested Madison officials.

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