Resort Area Sales Tax proposal dies in legislature

By Correne Martin

The Premier Resort Area Sales Tax proposal in the city of Prairie du Chien has been pulled at the legislative level. This takes the option off the table for the city to add 0.5 percent in sales tax to tourism-related purchases in the city in order to fund necessary street and other infrastructure projects.

“I knew our chance to pass the legislation through the (Wisconsin) Senate and Assembly was slim. I appreciate the honesty of Senator Shilling and Representative Nerison in where this process was and was not going,” City Administrator Aaron Kramer reported to the common council at its Tuesday night meeting. “The opposition from our business community was strong. Whether we didn’t propose the information in a way they understood, I don’t know. I believe the informational meetings we held, for the most part, were a good opportunity for [the city] to hear from residents and business owners and hear their feedback, and, at the same time, explain the difficult financial position the city is in with regard to its infrastructure

“But I propose you table this tax so we can leave it out there. Maybe times and opinions and the legislature will change and we can reconsider it in the future.

“Now, we go back to the drawing board.”

Kramer said the city’s alternative options are to cut the budget, borrow for large street projects or let the deteriorating streets continue to worsen. He said none of these options are popular either.

“I do not know if I will ever find a solution for the council to consider, which is appealing to the majority of residents, but I will keep trying and keep asking for feedback from the community,” Kramer added. “The issues with our infrastructure are simply not going to go away.”

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