Brown Co. Executive resurrects idea of half-percent sales tax

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WBAY) - Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach wants to bring back the half-percent sales tax.

In his State of the County Address on Tuesday, Streckenbach said he would like to use the existing room tax to pay for a new, multi-million dollar arena to replace the aging Veterans Memorial Arena. But, the room tax isn't fully available for the county's use for another 12 years

"In 2029, both the original bonds for the KI convention Center and the Resch Center become available. They are done and paid off," said Streckenbach.

Without that funding, it leaves the county with an estimated $15 million funding gap.

Streckenbach is proposing a half-percent county sales tax for 72 months to fill that gap, bringing in $147 million over the 6 year period. That would be enough to fill that gap and fund other infrastructure projects, while reducing property taxes.

Streckenbach said doing this would eliminate county borrowing for six years, bring down the county debt and reduce the tax levy.

A statement from his office says the sales tax "would invest $225 million in critical infrastructure" while reducing property taxes by $6 million over the six-year span.

"For an average home that's about $44 on a $150,000 home," said Streckenbach.

Streckenbach expects to get his proposal in front of the Brown County Board of Supervisors for debate May 8. If everything goes as planned, he hopes to open a new arena in two to three years.

Brown County residents and visitors paid a half-percent sales tax from 2001 until 2015 to pay for renovations to Lambeau Field. Voters approved the stadium tax in 2000.

We welcome comments and civil discussions. powered by Disqus