TIFs continue to spur Elkhart Lake’s growth

THE GROWTH CONTINUES IN Elkhart Lake. The Village Board recently approved the creation of the fourth tax incremental finance district in the village’s history.

This TIF will aid the construction and development of a new $5.5 million facility for Wolf Motorsports, including 30-32 car condominiums for the safe, secure storage of valuable racing and vintage vehicles.

The TIF will help finance $1 million to $1.2 million worth of infrastructure improvements, developer incentives and other projects to benefit the development – and future development in the district.

For that investment, the village will be adding increasing the village’s total equalized valuation – and it’s property tax base – by about two percent. That represents a nice piece of growth.

But that should only be the beginning.

The TIF projects will make other parcels in the district immediately developable as well, meaning the potential for new industry or business, with more jobs and more stimulation for the village’s economy.

And village officials are exploring the feasibility of extending TIF 4 to include planned adjacent residential development – something else that would benefit the village and its residents.

Of the four TIF districts the village has created, three are in existence now – for the Sargento expansion and for the Victory development along with the Wolf Motorsports TIF.

All three of those are already seeing or will soon see significant progress on projects that will grow the village’s economy.

The village’s first TIF was created, of course, for the development of The Osthoff resort more than

20 years ago.

That TIF – and the project it helped facilitate – proved wildly successful.

The TIF financed a number of projects beneficial to the village beyond just those for the resort development. When the district was closed, it proved a financial windfall for the village, the school district and the other taxing entities involved – and of course the taxpayers even more.

As for The Osthoff, which would very likely not have come into being without the aid of the TIF, it has becoming a widely-renowned and highly successful resort destination. Beyond that, it helped spur a revitalized resort and tourism industry in the village that continues to grow, prosper and flourish – again to the benefit of all.

While the impact of the village’s three current TIF districts may not be as large as that first TIF, they already are and will continue to have a huge impact – from creating needed new jobs to developing the residences needed to keep the people filling those jobs in the village, paying taxes there, spending money there, sending their children to school there, enhancing the quality of life there.

Village officials deserve credit for utilizing the TIF economic development tool to Elkhart Lake’s continued benefit.

From village officers to the Village Board to the Plan Commissioner, they have put long hard hours and effort into creating these instruments of growth.

It’s some sweet music they’re playing for Elkhart Lake.

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