By Roger Utnehmer
A unanimous Sturgeon Bay city council voted Tuesday to move forward implementing a Premiere Resort Area Tax to fund street improvements. The vote means the city will ask state legislators to consider legislation that would allow Sturgeon Bay to charge an additional one-half percent sales tax on certain items. Funds generated from the tax would be allocated for street improvements, sidewalks and bike paths. State Rep. Joel Kitchens (R) says he will introduce legislation to permit the tax in Sturgeon Bay. Kitchens says getting Gov. Scott Walker to sign a tax increase may be a challenge. Legislative action will not be considered until 2019.
Council member Kelly Catarozoli amended the language to make certain the funds generated by the tax are allocated for “creation” of “transportation” infrastructure.
According to council member David Ward, the PRATT will generate about $800,000 a year. He said 38% of city streets, or 28 miles, are in poor condition. The additional PRATT revenue will allow the city to double the street paving to approximately two miles a year.
The tax was overwhelmingly approved in an advisory referendum by Sturgeon Bay voters April 3rd.
(above photo L to R- Nancy Aten, Hans Christian, Council Members Kelly Catarozoli, David Hayes and Seth Wiederanders)