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Milwaukee County supervisor to call for sales tax referendum for arena

A Milwaukee County supervisor is calling for a referendum to gauge voter support of the use of a sales tax to pay for the renovation of the existing BMO Harris Bradley Center or the construction of a new arena.

The sales tax, according to a news release, would also be used to expand the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee.

Supervisor John Weishan Jr. plans to introduce a resolution next week, which also would express the county’s opposition to a spending tax levy on a new or updated arena or on improvements to the convention center until a previously approved tax is enacted.

County voters approved a similar proposal through a 2008 referendum, but the state did not adopt a law that would have given the county authority to collect the tax. The 1 percent tax proposed through that referendum would have paid for improvements to parks and cultural venues, as well as emergency medical services. A second referendum could reinforce the community’s commitment to that effort before spending tax levy on a new area, according to the release.

Weishan’s proposed resolution would also express the county’s opposition to the extension of the Miller Park sales tax.

If approved, the referendum question would be included on the Nov. 4 ballot.

About Beth Kevit

Beth Kevit is the Milwaukee city beat reporter and also covers real estate. She can be reached at beth.kevit@dailyreporter.com or 414-225-1820.

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