Group wants referendums on city deals with developers

Referendum would appear on November ballot
Group wants referendums on city deals with developers
Judge Doyle Square redevelopment area

A group calling itself Citizens Against Subsidized Hotels is planning to collect signatures to call for a referendum on a change that would require Madison voters to approve large city loans for developers.

CASH said it wants to hold a binding referendum in November that, if approved, would require a referendum whenever the city proposes TIF loans worth more than $10 million for developers. The group cites the latest proposal for developing Judge Doyle Square as an example of a project that would require a referendum.

“The private sector is building plenty of new hotels and if this new one fails, taxpayers will pick up the tab,” group member Andy Olsen said in a release. “The project is unfair in numerous ways – to taxpayers, to existing unsubsidized businesses, and to the many other priorities for our town greater than a new hotel.”

The “Stop Hotel Boondoggle” campaign is scheduled to start on May 1, and more than 16,000 signatures would have to be collected by June 30 to get the referendum on the November ballot.