Today is

Friday, February 21, 2014

Conditional Statements By Wealthy Land Owner Need To Be Put In Writing

In what seems to be a response to my suggestions about TIF financing to a group of local residents who are objecting to a landowner's campaign to fast-track a development including a new I-90 interchange near Milton, the Janesville Gazette posted a reminder of the landowner's statement that he won't seek capital incentives for infrastructure inprovements of his project.

JG Excerpt:
Watson has said he won't seek municipal incentives for infrastructure for his project and that he'd bankroll the plan, including infrastructure within the industrial area.

I'm glad to hear it. This is good news of course but a very unusual "promise" considering the size and scope of this developer's plan. But it's also an absolutely hollow and useless statement unless it's put into writing on all of his land deeds in the proposed development.

Remember, infrastructure costs for developments and conventional TIF agreements (not forgivable loans, surplus hand-outs, etc.) run with the land, not with the owner.

An interstate highway interchange will tremendously boost the value of the nearest adjacent land for development purposes. Watson could later sell the vacant land and its new owner(s) could then approach the township or municipality for TIF financing. My point here is that his statements about requesting no incentives for infrastructure common of TIF agreements can only be made durable if it is written into a deed condition, prohibition or covenant on the land. But judging by his casual public statements posted in the newspaper regarding this proposal, I doubt he will put it in writing on his deeds.

Just to be clear, it's expected area officials know of this and would insist the landowner list and legally document all of these conditional statements before making a decision. It's the right thing to do.

No comments:

Post a Comment