The latest in our series of fiscal condition reports on local governments in Greater Racine finds that the village of Mount Pleasant can lean on healthy reserves and relatively steady revenue streams to ease the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with more than $200 million in debt issued to support the tax incremental district that houses the Foxconn project, the village’s future outlook may now be impacted by changing economic circumstances both locally and globally.
Key findings include:
- Prior to the onset of the pandemic the village was largely on sound fiscal footing in light of rising property values, increasing net new construction rates, relatively steady general obligation debt payments, and a growing reserve fund balance.
- Fiscal challenges include growing fringe benefit and public safety costs, increasing road repair and improvement needs, and a heavy reliance on a single revenue stream, the property tax.
- The $203 million in revenue bonds issued to finance land acquisition and infrastructure for the TID created for Foxconn carries risk for the village and its taxpayers but also contains key protections; the level of risk may now be determined by the length and severity of the recession and whether it impacts Foxconn’s commitment to the region and state.
This research was commissioned by the members of the Resilient Communities Roundtable and partially underwritten by The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread as part of its “Resilient Communities Initiative.” It is the third in a series of five anticipated local government fiscal analyses in the Greater Racine region.