Well, if you read the news, other suburbs are moving forward very well. Here are just a few snippets from the past week or so in terms of new development across the metropolitan area:
BROOKFIELD: A $100 million retail and office development proposed for the Town of Brookfield on Wednesday announced its name: The Corners of Brookfield... In addition, the Town Board will later consider a tax incremental financing district to help pay for the project. That tax district, with the specific amount of public financing, hasn't yet been proposed. (Source: JSOnline)
GREENDALE: Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc. said today that it will make a make a major announcement Monday about a new anchor tenant at Southridge Mall in Greendale. For months some commercial real estate sources have said that Simon is in negotiations with Cincinnatti-based Macy’s Inc. to open a Macy’s store in the former Younkers store space at Southridge... Last year village officials approved a development agreement, including $10 million in tax incremental financing (TIF), with Simon for the redevelopment plans for Southridge. (Source: BizTimes Milwaukee)
MEQUON: The $42 million Mequon City Center project, which would include a Courtyard by Marriott hotel, a retail building, office building and multi-family housing, is seeking $3 million in city financing... However, four of the eight Common Council members are hesitant about creating a $3 million tax incremental financing district to help fund the development. (Source: JSOnline)
OAK CREEK: Oak Creek would provide $4.5 million to help finance a Sheraton Four Points Hotel planned for just south of Mitchell International Airport, under a proposal that received preliminary approval Tuesday night. The city funds would help developer Greg Trapani finance a 107-room Sheraton Four Points hotel at the southeast corner of Howell and College avenues. It will take about a year to build, and Trapani wants to begin construction as soon as city approvals are finalized. (Source: JSOnline)
You see, by some in Franklin's leadership giving signals of being against future TIF districts, Franklin could be turning away development potential and very viable proposals.
There are some who argue that TIF districts don't help taxpayers, and that argument can be respected. However, looking at Franklin's present TIF districts, and looking at the other planned or approved TIF districts in other communities via the articles above, they generally assist in the growth of their communities and bring in the development taxpayers are looking for. The question for taxpayers is whether or not they're willing to shell out a few extra bucks per year in taxes in the short-term (for things like plowing, fire/police for the proposed TIF, etc) for long-term gains in terms of increased tax base and projects that suit their needs closer to home.
I close with this question: Does Franklin wait the economic recession out and allow all the other suburbs to gobble up development proposals, or does Franklin make the call to be more proactive and signal that any development proposal, with any kind of incentive, is on the table and ready to discussed?