Appeals Court requests State Supreme Court to take up controversial Brown Co. sales tax

Local News

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – The Wisconsin Appeals Court District III is requesting the Wisconsin State Supreme Court to take up the matter regarding the Brown County sales tax.

According to a release, the Appeals Court issued the certification on Wednesday.

In January 2018, a half-percent increase to Brown County’s sales tax took effect, bringing it to 5.5 percent.

According to Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL), Wisconsin law unambiguously provides that “county sales and use taxes may be imposed only for the purpose of directly reducing the property tax levy.”

On May 20, 2020, WILL appealed the decision to District III of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals on behalf of the Brown County Taxpayers Association (BCTA) and Brown County taxpayer Frank Bennett.

When the appeal was made, BCTA President Richard Heidel stated, “It’s clear why citizens get frustrated and cynical about their government. The law states that tax proceeds may be used ‘only for the purpose of directly reducing the property tax levy.’ But Brown County is still permitted to devote well over $100 million dollars to new spending items. This needs another look.”

However, there are business leaders who agree the increased sales tax is beneficial and ask BCTA to stop the lawsuit.

The leaders point out the tax approved for six years by the county will fund $147 million in improvements to roads, libraries, the county jail and construction of a new expo hall.

Local 5 will continue to update you with the latest information when it becomes available.

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