Village of Marathon City (Facebook screen grab)

Damakant Jayshi

After receiving approval for a tax incremental district extension Friday, Marathon City is set to complete delayed projects planned as part of an expanded business park north of Hwy. 29.

The pace of the project is set to pick up after Gov. Tony Evers signed Assembly Bill 377 into law on Friday. The bill extends the maximum life of Tax Incremental District (TID) No. 1 in the Village of Marathon City by 10 years, from Jan. 3, 2025, to Jan. 3, 2035 and extends the eligible period during which project costs may be incurred from Jan. 3, 2020, to Jan. 3, 2023. The bill was co-authored by Sen. Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) and Rep. John Spiros (R-Marshfield).

“The extensions granted by AB 377 would enable Marathon City to continue to leverage the success of TID No. 1 to complete the delayed project plan items that would result in an estimated $40 million in private investment in our community, add a projected $9.5 million in new increment value in TID #1, pay off all TID #1 debt within the extension period and result in 50+ jobs locating in the community,” Administrator Andrew R. Kurtz told Wausau Pilot & Review.

The project includes a 40-unit workforce housing project. “The Village is also working with other entities to add a projected $22.5M in non-TID value to the Village through additional development north of STH 29 within the village corporate boundaries,” said Kurtz. “Without the TID modification, development north of (Hwy.) 29 would not occur.”

A TID is “the actual physical area (whole parcels) designated for improvements using tax incremental financing (TIF). On the other hand, a TIF is “an economic development technique to expand the property tax base. Property value increases fund site improvements that would not otherwise occur.”

Because of the development or redevelopment on a TID-covered land, the value of properties increases. That tax on the increased value – tax increments – is used to pay for the infrastructure developments or improvements.

The Marathon City’s TID No. 1 covers a portion of downtown and the current Marathon City business park. The business park contains manufacturing, healthcare, residential and retail businesses. 

Friday’s TID extension would allow the village to develop more than 60 acres of land north of Hwy. 29. The infrastructure expansion includes a new industrial road, water, sewer, gas, power and telecommunications and would be completed over the next 18 months, Kurtz said.

He declined to name specific businesses but said “multiple companies have expressed interest in the new expansion area and would fill commercial, residential, and retail segments.” 

The village is anticipating at least five industrial parcels. Kurtz said the estimated cost of infrastructure development is $4.5 million.

Kurtz called the TID modification a positive for the village and the region overall. The TID is self-funding, meaning the tax revenue generated by the properties in the TID are paying for the infrastructure work, he said.

The other project that the village was pursuing but under TID No. 2 – Marathon City Center that included a grocery store, a pharmacy and a hardware store – has been put on hold “due to significant increases in construction and project costs.” Kurtz said the retail improvements were planned in early 2022, but the “scope may change depending on what the new prospects are seeking to bring to the community.”