“We’re very happy:” Half-percent sales tax to fund Lambeau Field renovations will soon come to an end

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GREEN BAY (WITI) -- The half-percent sales tax to fund Lambeau Field renovations will soon be a thing of the past.

The Stadium District Board will end the half-percent sales tax at the end of September.

"We paid off the bonds in 2011 and we knew at that time it wouldn't take us more than four or five years for us to accumulate enough funds," Pat Webb with the Stadium District Board said.

Voters approved the tax referendum in September 2000. The tax took affect in January 2001. In total, it has collected more than $288 million.

The Brown County Taxpayers' Association says it's pleased the tax will soon stop.

"Mr. Webb and the district I think have done a decent job and it's a difficult one because there are a lot of different opinions. But all the same, we're very happy to see the end to the stadium tax," Richard Parins with the Brown County Taxpayers' Association said.

So with the half percent sales tax ending, what's next for the stadium district board?

"We continue to evaluate the options of who the landlord is going to be moving forward. There are several reasons why it might make sense for us to continue. There might be reasons why the city should take over landlord duties. That's part of our evaluation process," Webb said.

Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt says the city will work with the board to find the best solution for the community.

"If the board can still serve a purpose in terms of the management of the facility or if they can convince the Packers and the city that there is a need for them I think we'll analyze it, but in terms of dollars and cents the decision is made," Mayor Schmitt said.

The Stadium District Board also raised nearly $1 million a year through alternative revenue streams to offset the sales tax burden. However, the board is unsure if the Packers vanity license plate sales will continue.

The Packers say the Brown County resident ticket lottery will continue for this season.

At the end of last year, a Brown County supervisor floated the idea of starting a new sales tax once the stadium tax ended.

Meanwhile, taxpayers in five southeastern Wisconsin counties are still paying for Miller Park. The Miller Park stadium tax started in 1996 when the Legislature approved a .01% sales tax for Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha and Ozaukee counties.

The tax is expected to end sometime between 2017 and 2020 when the construction is finally paid for.

2 comments

  • 2ECOND

    so wonder what happened to the brewers stadium tax that STILL hasn’t stopped?? it was only supposed to go for 7 years.. hard to believe we would be lied to about it.

  • Mr. Bob

    Yes I have a feeling the Miller Park stadium tax will never end. They have been using that tax to pay for renovations that have taken place over the years. My goodness, how is it even possible that the Brown County tax is going to be retired this year after only 14 years and with a much smaller population base paying the tax, while the Miller Park stadium tax continues on and on for as long as 24 years???

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