Soon the Dane County Board of Supervisors -- with the encouragement of CA$H -- will consider a similar measure. Supv. Heidi Wegleitner will introduce a resolution at the June 26 board meeting, requesting that the city close the district.
In order to fund Judge Doyle Square, the city needs TIF financing, which diverts property taxes from an area to development grants. That means the school district, Dane County and Madison College will all have to give up portions of their tax revenue for several years.
Wegleitner says the community has much higher priorities than this project. "We're entering into a really tough budget year, and we have all sorts of compelling needs in the community: huge racial disparities, problems with children in poverty, young people who need work and job training, growing homelessness. There are much better ways for this money to be spent."
She adds: "Just like the school district, we could really use this money."
The resolution would be referred to committees and could come back to the board for a vote in July, Wegleitner says.
Andy Olsen of Citizens Against Subsidized Hotels – which opposes a large city subsidy to Judge Doyle Square -- thinks efforts like this will be more effective than pushing for a public vote on financing. "This will have a much greater chance of success," he says.