Realtors Association of Northeast Wisconsin: County Sales Tax Ordinance

TO: Outagamie County Board of Supervisors
FROM: REALTORS® Association of Northeast Wisconsin (RANW)
DATE: May 22, 2019
RE: County sales tax ordinance

On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, the RANW Board of Directors voted to oppose the adoption of a 0.5% sales tax in Outagamie County. They believe that a proposal of this magnitude needs more opportunity for the community to become familiar with the implications of this new tax and to provide input to the county board. Our association first became aware of the proposal on Tuesday, May 21 st , and to our knowledge, the majority of the public is not aware of the upcoming board vote. The short amount of time between the Finance Committee’s vote on 5-21-19 and the Board meeting on 5-28-19 – – which follows an extended holiday weekend – – does not provide adequate time for review and public participation. Our Association understands that the county is facing difficult budgetary decisions; and we too would like to see long-term property tax relief. However, we believe that by and large, the majority of counties with the sales tax have not seen substantial or sustained property tax relief. For that reason, our board also adopted the position to oppose any county sales tax proposal that is not designated for a specific economic or community development project with an established sunset based on project completion. Outagamie County has a long history of both fiscal conservancy and transparency. We encourage the county to continue this tradition by taking the time needed to allow more members of the public to learn about this issue and engage in the discussion. On behalf of our members, we appreciate the opportunity to share our concerns and thank you for your consideration.