Group appeals ruling on Brown County sales tax

Rendering for the Resch Expo Center.
Rendering for the Resch Expo Center.(WBAY)
Published: May. 20, 2020 at 12:00 PM CDT
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The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) says it's appealing the verdict in its lawsuit against Brown County for the uses of a county sales tax.

WILL and the Brown County Taxpayers Association argue the tax is illegal because the county is using it to fund capital projects and facility improvements, including roads, the Resch Expo, Brown County Library, Neville Public Museum, jail, public safety, mental health, and the county fairground and parks.

WILL argues the state law says county sales taxes can only be used for "directly reducing the property tax levy."

The county argued it is reducing the property tax levy because these projects add to the tax burden, which is leveled off by the 0.5% sales tax.

A circuit court judge ruled in favor of Brown County in March. WILL and the taxpayers association's say the law is "unambiguous," but the judge said the law doesn't prohibit how the county is using tax money.

WILL says it filed the appeal with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals District 3 on behalf of the taxpayers association and a Brown County taxpayer.

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