Day of the Badger Student Spotlight: Rachel Ramthun

It’s Day of the Badger! To show our Badger pride, we’re highlighting one of our very own graduate students – Rachel Ramthun – and her work with the Wisconsin Policy Forum. Rachel is a current PLA graduate student, earning her Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, alongside a Masters of Public Affairs from La Follette School of Public Affairs.

Rachel was selected last year  (September 2018), to be the Todd A. Berry Graduate Research Fellow, and since has worked with the Wisconsin Policy Forum in the Madison office. Her recent work with the Wisconsin Policy Forum is centered around TIF (an economic development tool that is typically used by cities and villages in Wisconsin). For their most recent report, Rachel worked alongside a UW–Milwaukee student. Together, they closely examined the current status of TIF in Wisconsin, focusing on statewide trends, the use of TIF in Milwaukee, as well as risks associated with TIF. Their results highlighted how municipalities are making greater use of TIF, and how the City of Milwaukee has increased its usage since 2000. Additionally, the two found that smaller communities tend to have the highest risk associated with TIF.

Rachel’s next project will be an individual report, where she will examine the changes to TIF policy that Governor Evers proposed in his budget.  She hopes this report will provide solid data and analysis that policymakers can use to make decisions about policies that affect the entire state. Additionally, she looks to effectively inform the general public on technical issues that greatly affect their communities and can potentially affect them as taxpayers.

We look forward to seeing the positive impact Rachel will make in the coming years around economic development, public management, and community branding!