Brown County leaders are pushing back against the Brown County Taxpayers Association – which is challenging a newly enacted half-percent county sales tax. As Local 5’s Kris Schuller reports they gathered this morning to urge the BCTA to withdraw its legal challenge.
Inside the Neville Public Museum political and business leaders gather, to urge a local taxpayers group to withdraw its lawsuit challenging a new half-percent county sales tax.
“It is an absolute shame that the Brown County Taxpayers Association has saddled our county and its taxpayers with a meritless lawsuit that is going to cost taxpayers of our county hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said County Executive Troy Streckenbach.
The lawsuit filed by the BCTA last week argues the half-percent sales tax is “void and unenforceable” because it doesn’t directly reduce the county’s tax levy.
The group’s leader, Rich Heidel, tells Local 5 ” If Brown County felt it needed to spend all this money, it had a lawful way of doing so: cutting spending elsewhere or going to the taxpayers and asking for permission to raise the levy in referendum.”
The tax approved for six years by the county last may will fund $147 million in improvements to roads, libraries, the county jail and construction of a new expo hall: projects supporters call critical.
“It is investing in the future of Green Bay and Brown County and it is very, very important we do this,” said Kevin Kuehn, owner of Kuehn Printing.
The County Board chairman says without the tax, the cost for the projects will fall on property owners.
“We’re doing our due diligence, we’re not putting something on a credit card. We’re paying for a half- cent sales tax for 72 months and then it is done,” said Pat Moynihan.
“I think you can see from the people in this room that it enjoys widespread public support,” said the CEO & President of Nicolet Bankshares Inc. Bob Atwell.
A show of support that Troy Streckenbach says can’t be ignored.
“I call on the Brown County Taxpayers Association to live up to its name and protect taxpayers by withdrawing their meritless lawsuit today,” said Streckenbach.
The judge assigned to the case, Kendall Kelley, has filed paperwork to recuse himself because of a conflict. A new judge should be assigned later this week.