By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — If the Colfax Village Board goes along with the recommendation, the village’s Tax Increment District No. 3 will expand by a half mile and will include the $350,000 Fourth Avenue project.
The Colfax Plan Commission held a public hearing on the proposed amendment to TID 3 June 3.
TID 3 was formed in 2002 and was amended in 2006, said Patrick Beilfuss with Cedar Corporation out of Menomonie.
The proposed amendment to TID 3, which is termed a “blighted district,” will include expanding the boundaries by a half mile and including the Fourth Avenue street project, he said.
The village can use the tax increment to borrow money for improvements until 2024 and then will have five years to collect the taxes from TID 3 before the district is closed out, Beilfuss said.
When a TID is formed, the taxing authorities (village, county, school district and technical college) do not collect the taxes. Instead, the new property taxes generated pay for improvements, such as streets, lighting, utilities, and site preparation for new business construction. The taxing authorities do not receive the property taxes until the TID is closed out, Beilfuss explained.
With the expanded half-mile limit for the boundary of TID 3, between TID 3 and TID 4, the entire village is in a tax increment district, he said.
Beilfuss reported to the plan commission that he had received a financial analysis from Brian Reilly of Ehlers Associates stating that TID 3 is doing very well and could pay for the Fourth Avenue project.
Since 2011, TID 3 has had $2.123 million in added value created by improvements and the appreciation of property value, he said.
TID 3 is generating $65,000 per year, and the village has a payment of $27,000 for improvements. The extra tax increment generated goes into a fund, with $38,000 left over. The payment for the Fourth Avenue project would be around $31,000 per year, Beilfuss said.
“The new payment, together with the previous payment, is still less than the tax increment value coming in, so (TID 3) will be able to pay for the project,” Beilfuss said.
Reilly based his projections on the assumption that the property value would remain the same and would not increase during the life of the TID, he said.
Beilfuss said it would be unlikely that the value in TID 3 would not increase and that Reilly was being fiscally cautious.
Richard Johnson, former village trustee, wondered whether the value of the houses on Fourth Avenue would be added into the TID.
The state law that allows the half mile expansion still bases the value on the original TID, so the value of residential property would not be added, Beilfuss explained.
Gary Stene, plan commission member, wondered how many times a TID could be amended.
TIDs can be amended four times, Beilfuss said.
The Colfax Plan Commission unanimously approved a motion to recommend that the Colfax Village Board approve amending TID 3 to include potential project costs located within a half mile of the district’s boundary.
In other business, the Colfax Plan Commission continued their discussion on the land use chapter of the comprehensive plan.
The village covers a total of 926 acres.
Single family residences cover 169 acres.
Multi-family homes use 10 acres.
The mobile home park also covers 10 acres.
Commercial properties take up 27 acres.
Industrial properties cover 49 acres.
Institutional properties (such as the clinic and Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center) use 82 acres.
Agriculture uses 360 acres.
Parks use another 33 acres.
Open space covers 80 acres.
Water resources use 13 acres.
And transportation (streets) cover another 93 acres.
Population projections from the Wisconsin Department of Administration predict that the population of Colfax will be 1,210 in 2020; 1,229 in 2025; and 1,242 in 2030.