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For information on financial resources, contact:
Michael Prager
Remediation & Redevelopment Program
608-261-4927

Financial resources for cleaning up & redeveloping contaminated properties

financial resource guideThese web pages are intended to help those interested in cleaning up or redeveloping contaminated properties find information about local, state and federal financial resources. Many of these properties may be brownfields, which are defined as abandoned or underutilized commercial and industrial properties where redevelopment is hindered by real or perceived contamination.

Although many of the most popular programs are listed in these web pages, other financial tools are available. You should consider these web pages to be a starting point in your search for financial assistance.

A track record of success

The RR Program has published a grant administration report that highlights how the program has partnered with various communities to turn idle properties with known or suspected contamination into new redevelopment utilizing various grant sources. The report focuses on the successes of the DNR's Site Assessment Grant program (SAG) and showcases 29 site success stories.

Grants

Grants and reimbursement programs

State resources
DNR
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)
Department of Administration
Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection
Department of Transportation
Federal resources
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Loans

Loans & loan guarantee programs

State resources
DNR
Board of Commissioners of Public Lands
Federal resources
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Revolving Loan Fund [exit DNR] - This federal grant of up to $1 million allows a government to establish a local fund, 60% of which will capilitize a revolving loan fund. 40% may be used for local brownfields grants.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Tax credits & incentives

Federal brownfields income tax deduction

The Federal Brownfields Income Tax Deduction allows a taxpayer to deduct qualified environmental remediation expenditures at a property held for use in a trade or business or for the production of income. The taxpayer takes the deductions from federal income in the year that the expenditures were paid or incurred, rather than depreciating them over several years.

Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) - Department of Revenue

Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) [exit DNR] is a tool for local governments to increase their property tax base, address blighted areas and promote development, redevelopment and job creation. After creating a TIF district (sometimes referred to as “TIDs”), the municipality may borrow to fund infrastructure improvements and land acquisition within the TIF district. The base (original) value of property in the TIF district continues to fund county, school and municipal needs. Revenues generated by the increase in property values in the TIF district are applied toward development expenses and debt service on the loan during the TIF period, up to 27 years, depending on type of TID.

Environmental Remediation Tax Incremental Financing (ERTIF) - Department of Revenue

Environmental Remediation Tax Incremental Financing (ERTIF) [exit DNR] differs from other tax incremental financing districts in several ways. They are created specifically to address brownfields, and environmental expenses may be recovered through the increase in property values. Also, ERTIFs are not included in the 12 percent limit on a local governmental unit’s (LGU) equalized value, and unlike other TIFs, the base value of an ERTIF may be $0. In addition to cities and villages, counties and towns may establish an ERTIF.

ERTIFs may fund:

  • planning;
  • property acquisition;
  • Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments;
  • environmental investigation;
  • removal of underground storage tanks and abandoned containers;
  • environmental cleanup; and
  • demolition, including asbestos abatement.

There is no limit on the value accrued in the ERTIF, as long as the costs incurred are eligible. The DNR must approve the site investigation report and the remedial action plan before the Department of Revenue (DOR) certifies the base value of the property in the ERTIF. The local government can incur some eligible expenses before the DOR certifies the base value and those costs can be paid back by the ERTIF.

Tools for managing delinquent taxes (75.105, 75.106, & 75.17 Wis. Stats.)

There are several state tools local governments can use to manage delinquent taxes for a contaminated property, including cancelling all or portions of the taxes.

New market tax credits
US Department of the Treasury
  • New Market Tax Credits [exit DNR] - New Markets Tax Credits are awarded to community development entities in order to attract private capital investment in rural and urban low-income areas. The credits reduce federal income taxes for qualified investments in census tracts with median household income of 80% or less of state or federal median income (see the Dept. of Treasury web site [exit DNR] for census information).
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
  • LISC New Market Tax Credits [exit DNR] - The Local Initiatives Support Corporation(LISC) administers federal New Market Tax Credits through their regional programs. Funds can be applied in a wide variety of ways, including small business lending, financial counseling and real estate development. LISC covers portions of rural Wisconsin and the Milwaukee area.
Historic preservation tax credits - Wisconsin Historical Society
  • Historic Preservation Income Tax Credits [exit DNR] are available on both state and federal income taxes for rehabilitation expenses at qualifying properties. Owners of income-producing historic property are eligible following approval from the National Park Service, based on a recommendation from the Historical Society’s Division of Historic Preservation.
Last revised: Friday October 31 2014