Wisconsin Economic Development

Published April 1, 2000  | April 2000 issue

Number of local economic organizations:

Approximately 85 public, quasi-public and private nonprofit organizations in the 26 Wisconsin counties located in the Ninth District, according to a state listing. The number does not include chambers of commerce. These 85 represent city, county and regional interests. One source said the focus of local economic development "tends to be county-based simply because cities are not large enough to sustain a budget" for paid staff.

Unique local economic development tools or incentives:

Enterprise zones provide up to $3 million in tax credits for a business start-up or expansion in a designated zone.

Popular assistance tools or incentives:

Tax increment financing, complemented by various local, state and federal loan programs. "Those are the primary tools and every community has access to them," said one official. Currently, in the 26 Wisconsin counties in the Ninth District, there are 75 cities with 146 tax increment districts. Since 1990, the area has seen a net creation of 33 new TIF districts.

Other assistance tools or incentives:

The state lists about 10 business assistance programs including the Customized Labor Training Fund, Community Development Block Grant, Rural Economic Development Program, Major Economic Development Program and the Technology Development Fund.


With the exception of TIF, local communities are forbidden from tinkering with tax incentives, even local property taxes, according to several local sources.

Related articles:

fedgazette, July 2000
Local Economic Development, Part II