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City moves closer to creating housing authority

Jan. 21, 2009

The Cudahy Community Development Authority this month authorized a $10,000 contract with former Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian to creating a housing authority.

CDA Executive Director Bruce Schuknecht said tax-incremental finance funds would cover the first phase of implementing a housing authority program. Antaramian will help the CDA obtain funding and execute its plans, Schuknecht said.

It is unknown what the second phase of the contract would entail and what the price tag would be.

The Common Council authorized TIF funds to be used beyond the limits of the TIF district in a unanimous vote earlier this month.

Mayor Ryan McCue said using TIF funds outside the TIF boundaries would increase the value of such property, creating more tax revenue for the city without having to wait for the TIF district to expire.

“It’s a win for the city,” he said.

Last year, after a pilot program in Kenosha turned out to be a success, the state Assembly approved a bill that allows municipalities to cover expenditures for projects in an area within a half-mile radius outside the boundaries of a TIF district.

Antaramian said the ability to collect money generated from the TIF district in Kenosha and spending it elsewhere was significant in terms of enhancing older neighborhoods. The money supported a loan program for homeowners in such neighborhoods.

A TIF district allows municipalities to borrow money for improvements to a blighted or environmentally damaged site. When a TIF district is created, the money borrowed is repaid with increased property taxes generated through development.

Property taxes are frozen at their initial level, while taxes on the increased value, or increment, are used to repay the debt.

Chantel Balzell can be reached at (262) 446-6602.

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