Florence County's 1st Tax Increment District Receives State Approval

March 14, 2014

Wendy Gehlhoff

press release

Florence County TID #1 has received final certification from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. The Multi-Use Tax Incremental Finance District is located in the Town of Florence and encompasses 652 acres. The project plan focuses on industrial park user expansion, industrial park infrastructure, an assisted living/senior housing development, an RV dump station along US 2, motel/hotel expansion, downtown redevelopment, US 2 commercial developments, and a residential development. The county is approaching these projects conservatively. The decision to implement a development project will be based on that project’s ability to generate the tax increment needed to pay for the upfront costs. Typically the payments will be made yearly from the new increment rather than in one upfront sum.

“Having a TID in place allows Florence County to competitively grow and attract the businesses needed by our residents and visitors,” according to Florence County Economic Development Director Wendy Gehlhoff. “TIF is the best tool in Wisconsin to create jobs, increase tax base and add new products and services to our community. We are seeking entrepreneurs and developers both locally and from outside our area to accomplish the projects in our plan that make financial sense for both parties.” The county has already approved a small TIF incentive for a new full-service grocery store project and a sawmill expansion project in the industrial park has passed the committee level. These two projects combined will create 25-31 new jobs.
The next targeted project is a 25-30 unit Senior Housing and/or Assisted Living development. Florence County has a superb nursing home facility, but lacks elderly friendly housing options for our growing retiree population to downsize and simplify. Our median age is 49.7 years; much higher than the state average and 2.5 years higher than surrounding counties as well. All serious proposals will be considered.

Florence County may have only 4,500 residents, but our population more than doubles in the summer and fall due to seasonal home owners spending time at their cottage on the lake or cabin in the woods. The influx of visitors coupled with the County’s broad array of outdoor recreational assets and 50% public land ownership offers a great opportunity for tourism related retail business growth as well.

To learn more about Florence County Tourism and Economic Development visit www.ExploreFlorenceCounty.com.

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