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A resident asks: What is going on with the proposal to have us residents vote on TIF districts? I was really hoping that I could see where each alderman stood before the election.

Answer: The topic remains on hold as far as the city's elected officials are concerned, with the city attorney's office still looking into the idea.

For a bit of background, last September, Aldermen Christopher Blackburn and Jerry Mellone submitted a proposal that would call for all tax incremental financing districts with project costs of over $1 million to be voted on by residents in a referendum rather than leaving the decision fully up to the common council.

The idea was brought up after Brookfield had approved two TIFs with combined project costs of over $13 million in less than a year. In the time since the referral, the city has approved another TIF for Milwaukee Tool's corporate headquarters expansion.

The proposal was referred to the city's legislative and licensing committee, which had its initial discussion on the subject in early December. At that time, the committee instructed City Attorney Karen Flaherty and her staff to research details on the topic, specifically including whether other communities in Wisconsin have taken similar steps.

As of now, Flaherty said that that is still where the process is.

'We started to do a little bit of research on it but have not completed that yet,' Flaherty said. 'You have to prioritize things and that hasn't been an immediate priority.'

Flaherty noted that the topic will be coming back up in the months to come.

Coverage of next week's aldermanic elections, which ran in last week's edition of Brookfield-Elm Grove Now, did include asking candidates for their thoughts on TIF districts.

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