By Roger Utnehmer
President and CEO
City of Sturgeon Bay taxpayers will vote April 3rd on a short-term local solution to a long-term state-wide problem. A “yes” vote will raise their cost of living. A “no” vote will send a message to the legislature that it’s time to deal with the state-wide issue of financing streets, roads and highways.
The proposed Premier Resort Area Tax (PRAT) would raise about $800,000 a year through a one-half percent sales tax added to the 5.5% people are already paying.
The primary reason to vote “no” is because it is simply a short-term local solution to a long-term state-wide problem. Wisconsin legislators need to fix how transportation dollars are raised, not push off tax increases onto local governments. Governor Walker has recently expressed flexibility on a gas tax increase.
That means when legislators finally come up with a state-wide solution to highway funding, Sturgeon Bay will still be stuck with not only the legislature-imposed funding increase but also a local one-half percent additional sales tax. That could come as a higher gas tax indexed to inflation, higher registration fees and a payment per mile annual assessment.
A “no” vote will make sure Sturgeon Bay residents are not taxed twice for solving the same problem.
That’s my opinion. I’d like to hear yours.