City of Verona to close Epic's campus TIF district, will collect $21.2M

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City officials of Verona, Wis., are preparing to close the tax incremental financing district established 14 years ago to help develop Epic's campus, according to a Wisconsin State Journal report.

The city established the special tax district in 2002 to help fund Epic's relocation from Madison to Verona, according to the report. Under the TIF district, the properties within the district pay taxes on a pre-determined base value, and any additional tax revenue above that base amount — which generally increases alongside project development — are captured by the TIF district and often used to pay project expenses. When the TIF district is closed, any generated surplus is given back to the district's taxing entities and properties within the TIF district are fully taxed at their current value.

In this case, Verona expects to collect more than $21 million next year, according to Wisconsin State Journal. That sum is projected to be dispersed to the Verona School District ($11.23 million), the city ($6.15 million), Dane County ($2.95 million) and Madison Area Technical College ($868,664).

Epic's campus value has grown from $320,400 in 2002 when the TIF district was created to more than $393 million in 2015, according to the report.

The TIF district Epic is in was scheduled to continue spending through 2020 and make debt payments through 2025, but city officials are closing the district early because Epic exceeded city officials' expectations and has generated enough to pay off the city's debts early, according to the report.

"When [Epic executives] first met with the city and were putting together a TIF project plan, the value that they used was $45 million," said Cindy Engelke, Verona's finance director. "So $45 million compared to where they're really at now is a huge difference."

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