State Rep. David Bowen
Press Release

Rep. Bowen Statement on “Fair Deal” Sales Tax Measure in Gov. Evers’ Budget

“A Welcome, Commonsense Proposal”

By - Feb 12th, 2021 04:44 pm

MILWAUKEE – State Rep. David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement in response to the announcement from Governor Evers that he will include a “fair deal” sales tax provision in his 2021-2022 biennial budget that would enhance local control for municipalities and give them the tools to invest in their communities without the need for property tax increases:

“I am grateful that Governor Evers understands the urgent needs that counties and municipalities across Wisconsin face to make sure they have the revenue needed to invest in roads, public health, maintenance, and countless other critical community investments. With the additional burdens of the COVID-19 pandemic, counties and municipalities are facing down economic crisis after economic crisis while still continuing to provide the much-needed services that their residents rely on. Localities need more tools than just property tax increases to address revenue shortfalls, and this sales tax referendum measure would create those new revenue streams while ensuring broad buy-in from their residents.”

Under the Governor’s budget proposal, counties and cities with populations over 30,000 would be allowed to levy an additional 0.5% sales tax if approved by local residents via referendum. Currently, Wisconsin’s sales tax is 5%, and counties are able to impose an additional 0.5% county sales tax. Currently, 68 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties have chosen to take advantage of the 0.5% county sales tax in order to raise important revenue for needed programs and resources. As of right now, the only other method for municipalities to raise their own revenue is through burdensome property tax increases.

“Last Session, I was a proud author of Assembly Bill 521, the ‘Fair Deal for Milwaukee County’ sales tax bill, and I am thrilled to see that Governor Evers has chosen to make this commonsense proposal a part of his budget, and to go further by expanding its benefits across the State. With my former experience serving in local government it makes me optimistic to see a chance for progress. Currently, our municipalities are forced to over-rely on property tax increases when we know that a reasonable fractional sales tax increase like those that would be allowed under this budget measure could bring in much needed revenue for municipalities while also allowing residents to have a say in taxation measures. My conservative colleagues can rest assured no community will see a fractional increase in sales taxes if residents don’t approve of it first.  This welcome proposal makes sense for Milwaukee, the economic engine of the State, it makes sense for Wisconsin, which relies heavily on tourism and will benefit from many visitors who will help pay this tax, and I hope everyone stands with me in urging legislative Republicans on the Joint Committee on Finance to keep this important measure in the budget!”

Mentioned in This Press Release


Recent Press Releases by State Rep. David Bowen

Rep. Bowen Statement on Governor Tony Evers’ Biennial Budget

“Budget Takes Bold Steps, Includes Numerous Reforms Requested by Rep. Bowen”

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us