Half Percent Sales Tax to be Considered for Sturgeon Bay Road Improvements

An ad-hoc committee is recommending a referendum on the implementation of a half a percent tax to help pay for streets and sidewalks in Sturgeon Bay. The committee on funding for local, street and infrastructure has been looking at options for financing street improvements in Sturgeon Bay. The committee, headed up by Alderman David Ward, was created by Mayor Thad Birmingham and the city council after it became obvious that new revenue sources would be needed in order to replace asphalt on streets every 25 years rather than every 56 years. In addition, it was suggested that the city’s investment on maintenance that extends the life of streets needed to be doubled. For awhile, the idea of a wheel tax, or a fee on each resident’s vehicle, was floated. But the ad hoc committee instead has come out in support of a half penny tax to be administered by every retail outlet subject to the state’s five percent sales tax. A referendum vote in support of the tax is needed in order to trigger legislation authorizing the tax. According to City Attorney Randy Nesbitt, the next available opportunity for the vote is during the spring election on April 3rd. In order to make that happen, the council action must be taken by January 16th. The process could begin on Tuesday when the Sturgeon Bay City Council holds its next regular meeting.

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