MADISON, WI – On March 4, Gov. Tony Evers signed into law legislation introduced by State Rep. Dave Armstrong (R-Rice Lake) and State Sen. Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) that will make important economic development tools known as environmental rehabilitation tax incremental districts (ERTIDs) more cost-effective.

“I am pleased that the bipartisan support Senate Bill 518 enjoyed throughout the legislative process continued when Governor Evers signed it into law as Act 149,” Representative Armstrong said.

“Under the old law, a developer in an ERTID could be compensated for remediating outdoor pollution on a property, but not for containing and removing hazardous materials found indoors, despite the risk of such materials being released into the environment during redevelopment. Asbestos, for example, is extremely expensive to manage safely, so many developers simply won’t do projects involving asbestos removal, with the result that asbestos-ridden buildings can sit idle for years, blighting the surrounding community.

“Act 149 addresses this problem by expanding the definition of ‘environmental pollution’ for ERTID purposes to include materials – like asbestos or lead – that if released into the environment during the redevelopment of an existing structure could cause harm,” Representative Armstrong said.

“By allowing the costs of containing and removing these materials to be covered, I believe Act 149 will make redevelopment projects more cost-effective and therefore more attractive to potential developers. This way, more blighted properties can be put to their best use and benefit the community in myriad ways, including increased housing.”


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