City of Hartford v. Kirley
Wisconsin Supreme Court
493 N.W.2d 45 (1992)
The City of Hartford (plaintiff) created a tax-incremental financing district (the district) to house an industrial project. To finance the district, the city sought to issue tax-incremental bonds (TIF bonds). The assumption underlying the TIF bonds was that the industrial project would generate increased property values in the district, and the city would use the resulting increased property-tax revenue to repay its bond obligations. As part of the bonding process, the city committed not to terminate the district until the bonds were discharged, which would be after 23 years if the bonds were not repaid before then. The bonds were payable solely from the city’s property-tax revenue. Property owners in the city paid the same property-tax rate whether their property was inside the district or not. The city filed suit seeking a declaratory judgment that the TIF bonds did not qualify as debt subject to the city’s constitutional debt limit.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Abrahamson, J.)
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