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Rhinelander Council Approves PRAT Money For Non-Motorized Use

Pixabay.com kierownik

Part of the tax money collected by the City of Rhinelander will be used to support non-motorized transportation.

The Common Council Monday approved transferring 10 percent of Premier Resort Area Tax funds to be used for bikes and pedestrians. There wasn't any discussion among the council and supporters were pleased at the vote with loud applause.

The Plan Commission is working on an update of the Master Plan for bicycles and walkers. The Oneida County Biking and Walking Trails Council had suggested to the city using part of the PRAT funds for non-motorized use.

Since voters approved the PRAT tax two-and-a-half years ago, the city has gathered about $1.5 million dollars in revenue, according to the Department of Revenue website. Since that time, money has been spent on various road projects.

The legislature approved Rhinelander's request for the special tax after city voters approved, which allows tourist-related businesses to charge an extra tax to be used for city infrastructure, mostly roads.

Eagle River has had a PRAT for several years. Minocqua has also applied for a PRAT, but their application did not make it through the recently-enacted state budget. Town Chair Mark Hartzheim says they're requesting a stand alone bill in the legislature for consideration. He says allowing the PRAT would not impact taxpayers through the state budget at all. He says Northwoods legislators back a Minocqua PRAT. Hartzheim says that if eventually passed in Madisin they're committed to only using the money for town roads.

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