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Minocqua Town Chair Hopes Legislators Help With PRAT

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Minocqua voters Tuesday advised the town board they would approve of becoming a designated PRAT community.

The PRAT, or Premier Resort Art Tax, allows communities with a large number of tourists to apply a small tax through tourist-related businesses to help pay for things like roads and infrastructure.

Town chair Mark Hartzheim says it will likely be awhile before the town knows what will happen...

"...What happens from here is it goes to the state legislature. They need to look at the PRAT in our community. It needs to go to the legislature and be introduced as a bill at that level. The legislature would make sure the local community is in favor of it and also put restrictions on it that any PRAT revenue would need to be earmarked for road construction and road-relatede projects..."

Hartzheim noted in some cases, including Rhinelander, the legislature asked the community to hold another referendum to make sure the public supported the additional tax, which is paid in large measure by out-of-towners and is strictly used for roads. ..

"..The next step is for this to go to our legislators who will guide it through the legislative process and hopefully approve it at the state level and ultimately get it to the Governor's desk..."

Hartzheim says being a tourist-oriented town, the services they provide are far greater than you would think for a population of 5,000. With the extra revenue, it would spread more of the costs of maintaining a tourist community over all the users instead of just the local population.

Hartzheim says Minocqua has 160 miles of paved town roads, noting that blacktopping alone costs $150,000 a mile.

Rhinelander and Eagle River both have been approved for the PRAT.

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