Sales Tax Increase Proposed In Milwaukee County
Revenue Generated Would Ease Property Tax Burden
Milwaukee County leaders are proposing a 1 percent local sales tax increase that could be reinvested into the community through property tax relief and refurbishing the county's aging buildings.
State Rep. Evan Goyke, D-Milwaukee, and state Sen. La Tonya Johnson, D-Milwaukee, plan to introduce a local option sales tax to the Wisconsin Legislature this fall. If approved, a referendum would be brought to Milwaukee County voters in Spring 2020.
The proposed plan could bring in an extra $160 million in the first year, with more than 25 percent of that money projected to come from visitors and non-residents, according to the county.
The additional revenue could be used to reduce property taxes, investment in municipal facilities, community assets and services and address capital projects and deferred maintenance, according to the county.
Property taxes could be reduced 4 to 11 percent, depending on the municipality, said Steve Baas, vice president of governmental affiars with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.
"For years we have been doing more with less as state aids continue to decline, and having the option to generate local revenue represents a watershed moment for us to not only sustain ourselves, but to thrive for generations to come," Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said in a written statement. "This plan is the best way forward for us to give Milwaukee County taxpayers the services and programs they deserve."
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