Forward Janesville Endorses 2020 School District & BTC Referendums
October 6, 2020: Forward Janesville has announced its endorsement of the School District of Janesville's 2020 Capital and Operational Referendums, and the Blackhawk Technical College Public Safety and Transportation Center Referendum.
Click here to read our endorsement of the SDOJ Capital Referendum.
Click here to read our SDOJ Operational Referendum endorsement memo. This memorandum examines several topics, including how public schools are funded in Wisconsin; the School District of Janesville’s financial situation and the challenges faced by the district and the community; and our position on the district’s 2020 operational referendum. It is intended to give our members a 360-degree look at the education finance landscape so they can make an informed decision at the polls on November 3.
Click here to read our endorsement of the BTC Public Safety and Transportation Center Referendum.
Forward Janesville Releases Minimum Wage Research
August 6, 2020: In response to the Rock County Board of Supervisors consideration and passage of resolution in support of a bill to raise Wisconsin’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, Forward Janesville released a memo on the minimum wage issue.
Forward Janesville Urges TIF Preservation
The organization sent the following letter to state legislators on October 31, 2019.
We are writing to urge you to oppose LRB-4515, which will cap developer incentives for projects in tax incremental financing (TIF) districts.
Tax incremental financing is the only consistently reliable financial incentive tool available to local communities to promote economic growth and job creation. The 20 percent cap on developer incentives proposed by LRB-4515 will restrict local control and the flexibility needed by municipalities to take advantage of economic opportunities.
Many past projects would not have occurred if this legislation was in force, and it will prevent untold numbers of future projects. For example, the Janesville City Council recently approved the creation of a TID district to aid in the construction of Diamond Ridge, a badly needed 115-unit multifamily development. This TID provides a significant financing component of the project, and the 20 Percent cap would have prevented the project from moving forward. Taking the Diamond Ridge project off the table would have further exacerbated Janesville’s housing shortage, thereby threatening our recent economic renaissance.
LRB-4515 will severely limit the effectiveness of TIF, as it will prevent municipalities from providing developer incentives and gap financing that are often required to close deals. Further, it would create a “one-size-fits-all” approach to local economic development that would restrict flexibility and creativity at the municipal level.
The proposal will significantly diminish the value of TIF, prevent key economic development projects across the state, and put Wisconsin at a competitive disadvantage. We urge you to oppose this misguided legislation.