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Premier Resort Area Tax Included In State Budget


Rhinelander voters will have another chance to decide on the Premier Area Resort Tax. Governor Walker did not veto the measure placed in the recently-signed two-year budget package.

If a community is designated as a Premier Resort Tax area, a sales tax is collected to be used for infrastructure improvements only. The tax was requested because high-tourist traffic communities see greater wear on their roads and public utilities. It was estimated more than 60 percent of the revenue generated would come from visitors.

State Representative Rob Swearingen of Rhinelander says he talked directly to Governor Walker about it...

"...the Governor held true to his promise. I had a one-on-one with him regarding the Rhinelander Premier Resort tax. That did survive the budget process. At this point, Rhinelander may go ahead with a spring referendum...."

One side issue was the possibility of allowing all municipalities a tax of their own. Swearingen says the municipal tax was something Walker did not like...

"....from what I understand he was a little cold to(the municipal tax). At this point I'm not sure if that one is going to move ahead or not...."

Voters in April  approved the extra tax by at 2-1 margin in the advisory referendum. But to get the matter in the budget, the Joint Finance Committee said in order for it to be enacted, a binding referendum would need to be held. That vote is likely to take place next spring.

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