Isthmus on Edgewater

Please limit discussion in this area to local and state politics.
Huckleby
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 8737
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:12 pm
Location: parents' basement

Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:49 pm

Kashka-Kat wrote:Polls schmolls. What about the poll that asked how many people don't care as long as no TIF? Oh wait, there wasn't one.

Being against the project because of TIF is an understandable position. Its a warm and fuzzy place to be because you get to be for the benefits and against the costs.

(That snipe is only fair if TIF really was necessary to pull together such a large undertaking. I guessed TIF was necessary, but I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree when it comes to money matters.)

gargantua
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 5095
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:30 pm
Location: Madison

Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby gargantua » Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:23 pm

Huckleby wrote:
Kashka-Kat wrote:Polls schmolls. What about the poll that asked how many people don't care as long as no TIF? Oh wait, there wasn't one.

Being against the project because of TIF is an understandable position. Its a warm and fuzzy place to be because you get to be for the benefits and against the costs.

(That snipe is only fair if TIF really was necessary to pull together such a large undertaking. I guessed TIF was necessary, but I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree when it comes to money matters.)


You really are disrespectful and condescending to people who happen to disagree with you. Yeah, I was for the project but against the TIF because it's "warm and fuzzy".

I followed this debate closely, and one issue that really bothered me is that there really wasn't any significant give and take on the TIF amount. From the beginning, the $16 million the developer claimed was needed never seemed to be challenged. To my knowledge, the city never came back with counter. Maybe it could be done for $12 million in TIF. Or $14 million. The "benefits" of the project accrue primarily to the owners and the developers. If this is a good, sensible, profitable project, why is public participation necessary Huckleby?

There is little public benefit to this project. In this city of about 250,000 residents, I would bet that 240,000+ will never set foot in the place. I wouldn't care about that were it not for the TIF, which means that TIF funding is not available for quite a number of other worthy projects.

Huckleby
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 8737
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:12 pm
Location: parents' basement

Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:31 pm

gargantua wrote: You really are disrespectful and condescending to people who happen to disagree with you. Yeah, I was for the project but against the TIF because it's "warm and fuzzy".

Jesus, grow a skin. I left plenty of room in my view for someone to take a principled position based on TIF, I explictly said it depends on financial issues I know little about. But it is also true that being for the project and against the TIF is a painless postition to take, regardless of its merits. It's like being for great schools and against property taxes. If you don't like such vulnerabilities being lampooned, avert your eyes.

gargantua wrote: If this is a good, sensible, profitable project, why is public participation necessary Huckleby?

The simple answer is that the developer wants a hedge against the risk, no profit is ever assured. It's a capital market. Evidently, the capital won't flow to the project without the city sharing some risk. City Wisemen (I suppose I should say "Wisers" to be PC) have determined that the total benefit to the city outweighs the city's share of the risk. The city gets some benefits that aren't directly tied to the profitability of the business, which is key to why a partnership makes more sense than a business going it alone. Both Soglin & Cieslewicz agree on this point.

gargantua wrote: There is little public benefit to this project. In this city of about 250,000 residents, I would bet that 240,000+ will never set foot in the place.

I don't want to reargue the whole case, but that's a narrow, one-sided statement

jjoyce
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 12168
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:48 pm
Location: Madison, WI
Contact:

Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby jjoyce » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:34 am

Huckleby wrote:Jesus, grow a skin.


Pulled for posterity. This one is almost too much.

Huckleby
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 8737
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:12 pm
Location: parents' basement

Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:49 am

the guy is confronted by a little debauchery, and he loses it and rips up a temple. "Oh heavenly father, why have you forsaken me" - waaaa , waaaaa waaaa

jman111
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 3644
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:43 pm
Location: Dane County
Contact:

Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby jman111 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:15 am

Huckleby wrote: But it is also true that being for the project and against the TIF is a painless postition to take, regardless of its merits.

It may be "painless" in your eyes, but it is an extremely common stance, based on my conversations with folks in Madison. You "guessed" that the TIF was necessary. I'm not sure the majority of residents made the same assumption.

Huckleby wrote:It's like being for great schools and against property taxes.

No, it's not. Apples and oranges.

Huckleby
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 8737
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:12 pm
Location: parents' basement

Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:48 am

I'd say people who are philisophically against TIF are no different from people who are philisophically against property taxes. Both positions place ideology above pragmatism.

TIF is a practical reality of market forces, it's a pain that has to be faced to make deals work.

Now, if somebody is against TIF in a particular situation because of detailed study of cost/benefits, I wouldn't have much to say about that opinion.

Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 21678
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all
Contact:

Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:56 am

TIF funding is supposed to be reserved for blighted neighborhoods. To say that the Edgewater and surrounding area is blighted (especially when compared to other areas in the city) is a s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

I had the same objection to when the Monroe Street Commons developement received TIF money.

Huckleby
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 8737
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:12 pm
Location: parents' basement

Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:24 pm

I say use TIF wherever it makes possible projects that are in the public interest. Which is the policy the city seems to actually pursue.

The fig-leaf that TIF is just for blighted areas really makes no sense, other than as a way to appease ideological opposition. Madison has to compete with other cities for investment capital for all projects.

I can agree that a blighted area has a stronger argument for TIF, I'm OK with a little affirmative action.
Last edited by Huckleby on Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 21678
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all
Contact:

Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:42 pm

Wisconsin statutes say that TIF is reserved for blighted areas. It's the law.

Wisconsin adopted TIF legislation in 1975 in response to the challenges of eliminating blighted areas in depressed urban areas.

Huckleby
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 8737
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:12 pm
Location: parents' basement

Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:50 pm

That's a good summary of TIF.

"Since it was first adopted in 1975, several major changes have been made. These changes have tended to expand the ways that TIF can be used, and have increased involvement of the overlying taxing jurisdictions and locals residents......"

The standard now appears to be the "but for" test, which makes sense to me.

Azog
Senior Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:52 pm

Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Azog » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:26 pm

Huckleby wrote:That's a good summary of TIF.

"Since it was first adopted in 1975, several major changes have been made. These changes have tended to expand the ways that TIF can be used, and have increased involvement of the overlying taxing jurisdictions and locals residents......"

The standard now appears to be the "but for" test, which makes sense to me.


So referendums are good (and Soglin allowed them on the Monona Terrace project, waiting for voter approval) but its okay that Cieslewitz didn't give the city a voice is what you're saying. And TIF should be a slush fund at the mayor's disposal as long as it is what Cieslewitz wants, seems to be the basic crux of your argument? Even if you were able to convince people of that, at least to me the project itself is the very least of Cieslewitz's problems: I don't like seeing Madison run that way. I don't want a power player for a mayor in Madison.

gargantua
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 5095
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:30 pm
Location: Madison

Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby gargantua » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:30 pm

The major problem with the use of TIF in this instance is that this one project required so much of it. The amount of TIF available to a taxing authority is a finite number. I'm working from a probably year-old recollection of a really good Brenda Konkel summary of the city's TIF limitations, and several good, albeit smaller projects that can't get TIF now because Edgewater used it up.

Huckleby
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 8737
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:12 pm
Location: parents' basement

Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:33 pm

Azog wrote: So referendums are good (and Soglin allowed them on the Monona Terrace project, waiting for voter approval) but its okay that Cieslewitz didn't give the city a voice is what you're saying.

If the opponents of the Edgewater were confident they could win a referendum, they could have gotten the petition signatures to force one.

I sure wish there had been a referendum. Because the controversy dragged on so long, it left the false impression that the town must be evenly deadlocked. The opponents excercised inordinate power through the Landmark Commission. If it was a question of majority rule, elected representatives would have passed it a year sooner.

I'm not sure you can compare a massive project like the Monona Terrace or Overture Center with the city commitment to a hotel expansion. The size of the Edgewater project was due mostly to expanding hot air.

Azog wrote: And TIF should be a slush fund at the mayor's disposal as long as it is what Cieslewitz wants, seems to be the basic crux of your argument?

That's not my argument, people should debate whether a particular project is in the public interest. I have no philisophical problem with TIF.

I really trust Cieslewitz quite a lot, I've agreed with his judgement on so many issues. I'll have a hard time pulling that Soglin lever.

Huckleby
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 8737
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:12 pm
Location: parents' basement

Re: Isthmus on Edgewater

Postby Huckleby » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:37 pm

gargantua wrote:The major problem with the use of TIF in this instance is that this one project required so much of it. The amount of TIF available to a taxing authority is a finite number.
OK, if that is the main argument against TIF, then the alternatives should be out there in simple terms. I have to assume that the council understood the altnernatives.


Return to “Local Politics & Government”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests