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City officials considering creating TIF funding plan to develop Cannery District

Eau Claire (WQOW) – The city is looking to spend more than $20 million in upgrades to the Cannery District in hopes to attract $61 million in development over the next 20 years.

The city plans to use a Tax Incremental Financing Plan, otherwise known as a TIF district, to pay for the improvements. It works by splitting the property tax revenue to continue development in the area.

The Eau Claire Plan Commission recommended the Eau Claire City Council approve the plan and add an emphasis on using parts of the TIF revenue for affordable housing where available. The TIF aims to re-develop all roadways and create an appealing space to attract new businesses in the Cannery District.

City Financial Director Jay Winzenz said the only way property taxes would increase is if the development doesn’t reach its $61 million goal before the TIF district expires. “There is no additional costs to property taxpayers in Eau Claire, because, in essence, the new value created in the TIF offsets the costs of the public improvement,” said Winzenz.

The city plans to borrow funds and repay it with the property taxes from the new businesses over the next 20 years.

The city council will discuss this topic at its July 23 meeting.

Justin Esterly

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