Chamber Opposes Madison Proprietary Interest Proposal

A recent City of Madison proposal could have a dramatic impact on future development projects. If adopted, the ordinance could require – for instances where the city provides financial assistance for a project – that the recipient employer enter into a private agreement stating their employees’ preference as to whether they want to be represented by a labor organization for collective bargaining purposes. Examples of where the city has a proprietary interest include projects utilizing tax incremental financing, as well as other business grant and loan programs. The ordinance could apply to a project developer, contractor, subcontractor as well as potential tenants through the duration of the city’s involvement in the project. 

At a time when public and private sector leaders have worked to improve the city’s economic competitiveness, this proposal would be a significant step backwards.

The ordinance’s provisions include: 

  • Applicability to any loan or financial incentive of greater than $100,000
  •  “Recipient of City financial assistance” to mean any person, including that person’s subcontractors, successors, or tenants
  • Requirement that  the recipient of City financial assistance enter into a Proprietary Interest Protection Agreement for the duration of the City’s proprietary interest in the Development Project
  • Applicability of the Protection Agreement to any contract, subcontract, lease, sublease, management or operating agreement for the duration of the proprietary interest of the City in the Development Project 
  • An exemption for employers employing fewer than the equivalent of fifteen (15) full-time or part-time employees at the site of the development project
  • Exemptions for any residential development project and any development project involving a historically designated building
  • An exemption for multi-tenant development projects built on a speculative basis

Click here to view the full ordinance.                                                                             

The Chamber has communicated its opposition to the proposal at the City’s Board of Estimates and Economic Development Committee. Supporters have stated their intent to delay action for further review of the potential economic impact, and have also expressed their desire to work with stakeholders, including the Chamber, on these concerns. 



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