The Common Council today approved legislation moving the city closer to having an anti-displacement tax fund program that aims to keep longtime residents from being displaced because of the development boom taking place in downtown Milwaukee.
The resolution – Council file #181287 – directs the Department of City Development (DCD) to develop a proposal for an anti-displacement tax fund program similar to the Atlanta Westside Future Fund Anti-Displacement Tax Fund Program, and to submit the proposal to the Common Council for review within 90 days.
Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, primary sponsor of the legislation, said the building boom taking place in downtown Milwaukee and in neighborhoods along the periphery of downtown is threatening to displace residents who have had a hand in taking care of their neighborhoods for many years. “The unprecedented building boom (downtown) has brought a wave of new construction with many positive benefits, including population growth and an expanded tax base,” the alderwoman said.
“But it also threatens the character of the areas in which it is occurring and may displace longtime residents either directly, through removal of their housing units, or indirectly, through being priced out of their neighborhoods as gentrification occurs,” Alderwoman Coggs said. “I am grateful for the overwhelming support from my Council colleagues on this measure, because they see the value in offering support to longtime city residents who have shown devotion and a strong commitment to their neighborhoods long before the boom started to take shape.”
“This anti-displacement tax fund program offers that much-needed support and is a step in the right direction,” she said.
The City of Atlanta is combating displacement in its four Historic Westside neighborhoods through the Westside Future Fund’s Anti-Displacement Tax Fund Program, an initiative that will pay qualifying current homeowners’ property tax increases to help ensure that these homeowners are not displaced because of the rising property taxes that result from development in their neighborhoods.
In November — through an amendment that was part of the adopted 2019 city budget — the Common Council approved a footnote instructing DCD to develop an anti-displacement tax fund program similar to the Atlanta Westside Future Fund Anti-Displacement Tax Fund Program. Today’s action by the Council officially orders the development of the program.
Co-sponsors of the legislation are Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II, Alderman José G. Pérez and Alderman Cavalier Johnson.