The Milwaukee County board voted Thursday to nearly double the county's sales tax, two weeks after the city of Milwaukee approved a local sales tax increase as part of a bipartisan plan to avoid bankruptcy.
Milwaukee has rapidly transformed over the recent years. Mayor Cavalier Johnson said “getting to yes” with business was key.
The Milwaukee Common Council voted 12-3 to pass the new city sales tax.
Assembly Bill 245, signed into law by Gov. Tony Evers, included provisions such as eliminating preferential contracting and local regulations on nighttime quarry operations.
A case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday threatens to invalidate a Brown County sales tax used to reduce debt and pay for road work, a new expo center and other projects.
Approving the regional sales tax to pay for Miller Park took more than one vote by the state Senate and ended up costing one lawmaker his political career after he switched his vote in the middle of the night back in 1995.
After 23 years, the five-county sales tax that paid for the construction of Miller Park in Milwaukee will end on March 31.
Milwaukee officials pitched state lawmakers on Thursday on a plan seeking a 1% increase in the county sales tax to prevent projected budget cuts, even though the attempt is unlikely to move ahead in this year's waning legislative session.
A state Senate committee has given a favorable recommendation to legislation that would ensure contractors get the same tax breaks when they buy materials for UW hospital projects as they now receive for other sorts of nonprofit work.
Recent legislation that prevents contractors from owing sales and use taxes on materials needed for nonprofit and UW projects has eliminated a long-standing point of frustration for many companies.
The state Senate has approved a bill to end by next summer the sales tax that paid for the construction of Miller Park.
An increase in the number of auditors working for state government generated an additional $72 million worth of taxes in 2018, according to state revenue officials.
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