THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
From Our Readers
Issue Date: October 26, 2016
The Marinette County Board of Supervisors recently extended indefinitely, the one half percent sales tax for Marinette County. This was an action that needed to be taken.
As a past member of the Marinette County Board, it was evident to me that this would occur. But I do have some reservations about it. Let me start by indicating my support for the recent direction of the board. I think the most recent steps they are taking will be beneficial to Marinette County in the future. Often, when a tax is added or in this case extended, an increase in spending will occur. I would expect a scramble for this "new money" by a number of Marinette County Departments.
I think adding to some of these departments simply because there is additional revenue, would be a mistake. An article in the Oct. 19 Peshtigo Times indicated the record timber revenue that Marinette County has been accustomed to may be a thing of the past. Record timber revenues may be gone for an extended time frame. This should be a concern for taxpayers in the county. Not only does timber production help to subsidize our tax dollars, but it also provides a great source of employment in this area. This loss of revenue could provide a problem at budget time.
Another county board development is the underlying movement to create a new tax in the county, a room tax. This tax would be created in the name of tourism advancement. I am active in the tourism industry and am a past member of the Marinette County Tourism Alliance. The thought process for this room tax, is to provide revenue for the creation of a full time Tourism Director. I am 100% in favor of the creation of this position. The revenue brought in by the timber sales could pale in comparison to the untapped tourism dollars that have yet to be generated.
I am not in favor of the room tax to fund the tourism director position. We have a tax in place to provide for tourism. It is our now extended sales tax. The sales tax was created to pay for the remodeling and creation of the law enforcement center. That mission will soon be completed.
The sales tax is paid by not only our residents, but also by our visitors. Our tourists. More visitors in Marinette County equates to more sales tax dollars. Our tourism director has been extremely effective marketing our resources with the limited amount of resources and time we provide to him.
A room tax will be difficult to obtain, and the sales tax dollars are generated in part by tourism. Wouldn't it make sense to use this revenue to cultivate tourism instead of creating an additional tax?