Boots & Sabers

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0755, 22 Jun 17

City Wants Access to County Sales Tax

Heh. This is another stark reminder of the lies of politicians.

Washington County officials implemented a sales tax a few years ago to fund different initiatives — now municipalities want to access those dollars to fund projects of their own.

Officials from West Bend are collaborating with other municipalities in the area to draft a resolution petitioning county officials for a revenue-sharing agreement to access almost $3 million of the county’s $11.4 million sales tax revenue.

City Administrator Jay Shambeau announced the measure during the June 5 meeting as part of an update to the city’s 10-year financial plan when he alluded to possible alternative revenue streams.

“There are some other options that are potentially out there for the council to consider,” he said. “One is a portion or a tax sharing with the county sales tax. I have begun to have some conversations with the county about that.”

The reporter glosses over it, but one must remember the history here. Washington County implemented a county sales tax several years ago to pay for some specific “critical” capital projects like the new radio system that the Sheriff needed for public safety. The tax was supposed to pay for those capital projects and then go away. As almost always happens, after those projects were long since paid off, the tax is still here. County officials simply kept the tax going and used it to pay for other stuff. It once again proved the maxim that “there’s no such thing as a temporary tax.”

Now the city is looking over at that pile of money extracted from taxpayers and wants a slice. Never leave a pile of money around a politician…


0755, 22 June 2017


  1. 9606

    Is the city going after the State and DC for more slices?

  2. billphoto

    Washington County is awash in our money so it is no surprise West Bend wants a taste.  Money to a politician or bureaucrat is like heroin to a junkie.

    Former Chairman Ken Miller and his crew made the sales tax permanent with the Cabelas deal tying financing to the sale tax.  Kill the sale tax and taxpayers are on the hook for the Cabelas bill.  The unelected bureaucrats play games claiming the sales tax is being used to lower the property tax bill but the total tax has a lot of pork in it.

    Ag and Industrial Society – Rents the $30M Fair Park facility for $1 a year plus $500K subsidy is hidden in the Parks and Planning budget.
    Golf course only make money on paper.  Sales tax is use to pay $250K a year in mortgage plus Parks and Planning works at the golf course but does not bill the golf course.
    Historical Society gets $200K to maintain the unused old County Courthouse.  Parks and Planning get paid (with the $$ the County gives to the Historical Society) for maintaining the unused old County Courthouse.
    Economic Development has millions of County sales tax money they pass out as loans in the name of questionable development programs.
    County Highway Department is subsidized with about $3M a year.

    Once the County Board votes to divert money once, the diversion is never revealed again.  County overbudgets every year to keep the tax rate high and department quietly kickback $$ at the end of the budget cycle.

    Ozaukee and Wauksha Counties both have lower tax rates than Washington County WITHOUT A SALES TAX !!!


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