Supervisor John Weishan, Jr., Praises Judiciary Committee for Approval of Referendum on Sales Tax for New Downtown Arena
Resolution Calls for Public Voice in Arena Decision
Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan, Jr., said today that committee approval of a resolution calling for a Nov. 4 referendum on a sales tax for a new downtown arena was a “victory for the voice of the people of Milwaukee County.”
Weishan’s resolution, which was approved by the Board’s /Judiciary, Safety and General Services Committee/ on a 4-3 vote, will now go to the Board for consideration on April 24. The resolution calls for an advisory referendum on whether tax revenue should be used to help pay for the renovation or construction of a new sports and entertainment arena to replace the BMO Harris Bradley Center in the City of Milwaukee and to build a major expansion to the Wisconsin Center Convention Center.
“I don’t want people in Southeast Wisconsin think that the people of Milwaukee County always want to raise taxes,” Weishan said. “The people need to be heard on an issue so central to our future. This is a message to the unelected people of this community that it is the people who will have a voice on this issue, not the special interests.”
Weishan said that the Metropolitan Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce, by appointing a task force on cultural and capital needs, is using “window dressing” to cover for the fact that what they are really seeking is a new arena. He said that a 2008 county-wide referendum showed that residents approved of a sales tax for parks and transit.
“These interlopers are trying to come in and use cultural needs as window dressing for the idea of a new arena that has no chance of passing,” Weishan said. “The line has already formed, and this community has said that parks and transit should be paid for by a sales tax, not for a new arena. We need to deal with transit and parks but after we check those off the list, we can look at funding for a new arena.
“This referendum allows the community to have a voice, and I am confident that they will say no to more taxes for a new arena.”