Outagamie County Executive vetoes sales tax; board expected to override

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OUTAGAMIE COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - Outagamie County Executive Thomas Nelson has vetoed a half-percent county sales tax passed by the county board.

WBAY Photo

Nelson used his veto pen Thursday during a news conference in Appleton. Nelson was surrounded by supporters who believe they'll be negatively impacted by the tax.

"It is a regressive tax. And it will cost every citizen about $100 each year. That is especially harmful to our seniors, single parents and working families," Nelson says.

On May 28, the Outagamie County Board voted 28-4 to move forward with the tax. Four board members were absent.

The vote indicates there would be enough support to override Nelson's veto. However, Nelson says some supervisors are considering a change of heart.

"I've talked to about a half dozen supervisors, just in the last 48 hours, and of those, two to three are seriously reconsidering," Nelson says. "So, I will continue to make those calls, hopefully hope for a good outcome at the next meeting."

A countywide sales tax is projected to bring in $20 million in revenue per year. Supporters say that would go towards property tax relief, capital improvement projects and assisting local governments in the county.

Nooyen says people would have to spend tens of thousands of dollars a year to be impacted by the sales tax.

"Unless you've got somebody over at Oneida Heights that just bought a boat, or a jet ski or a Maserati, they're not going to be impacted by this," Nooyen says.

It's estimated the average household would pay an extra $109 per year in sales taxes, while property taxes on average would fall by $167.

Nelson said about 35,000 renters in the county and wouldn't benefit from that at all.

The next county board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 11. That's when the board is expected to consider overriding the veto.

Action 2 News will continue to cover this developing story.