By Paul Anschutz
The city of Sturgeon Bay is asking residents to approve a 0.5 % (1/2cent on the dollar) on tourist related goods to improve the roads. After doing a great deal of investigation, through phone calls to Rhinelander and La Crosse County who have adopted the prat.I have come to a conclusion. Sturgeon Bay's PRAT question is misleading. Beware voters. I will list Rhinelander's question to its voters, then La Crosse County's and lastly Sturgeon Bay. Read carefully as a word will totally change what Sturgeon Bay can use the monies on if approved.
Rhinelander: Should the city of Rhinelander levy a 0.5% sales tax on the dollar on tourist-related items sold, leased or rented through tourist related retailers to pay for transportation infrastructure.
LaCrosse: To pay for transportation infrastructure, should La Crosse County levy a 0.5% (½ cent on the dollar) sales tax on tourist-related items sold, leased or rented through tourist related retailers.
Sturgeon Bay: To pay for Street and infrastructure expenses as defined in Wi. Stats.66.1113 (1) (a), with revenue from tourists and visitors, as well as residents, should the City of Sturgeon Bay impose a levy of 0.5% (1/2 on the dollar) sales tax on tourist-related items sold, leased, or rented through tourist related retailers.
See the difference? Look close, it's the word" AND" that opens up a whole new checkbook for our council.
Wis.Stats.66.1113(1)(a) states what is considered to be infrastructure expenses, please read carefully
Paragraph (a) of the statute says "'Infrastructure expenses' means the costs of purchasing, constructing, or improving parking lots; access ways; transportation facilities, including roads and bridges; sewer and water facilities; exposition center facilities used primarily for conventions, expositions, trade shows, musical or dramatic events, or other events involving educational, cultural, recreational, sporting, or commercial activities; parks, boat ramps, beaches, and other recreational facilities; fire fighting equipment; police vehicles; ambulances; and other equipment or materials dedicated to public safety or public works."
Again" AND" allows the use of Premier Resort Taxed Monies to be used for the above-mentioned expenses.
We have been taken to the cleaners far to many times by our councils. TID 2 being bailed out to the tune of roughly $ 400,000.00 a year from TID 1 monies, that should be going into the general fund for road repair, are being spent for mistakes by mayors, staff, and councilmen past and present.
Let me remind you of the $180,000.00 grant monies given back to the government for Safe Routes to School sidewalks that A FEW councilmen DID NOT WANT. Now they say sidewalks are important only because it is election time. BEWARE
There have been far too many lawsuits on so-called "good developments" from mayors past and present, including previous councilmen and staff. TID 4 is currently tied up in a lawsuit.
Please go to the polls and vote for change in the council and VOTE NO ON THE PRAT.