space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Langlois/Wagner Head Marine All-Conference Selections
* Jacobson Tops M&O Golf Squad
* Osterberg Earns Back-to-Back Player of the Year Awards
* Kotecki/Debriyn Share Most Valuable Player
* "FORE Their Future" Schedule Announced

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

County Board Keeps Sales Tax, Cuts Sunset Clause

After some long hard discussion at its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 20, and at several committee and board meetings in the past three months, Marinette County Board voted 17 to 11 to remove the sunset clause included when the half a percent sales tax ordinance was adopted in 2001. The sales tax has been generating about $3.5 million a year in recent years.

Voting in favor of the motion that removes the sunset clause and in effect keeps the sales tax in place indefinitely as recommended by the Finance Committee were supervisors Joe Banaszak, Glenn Broderick, Gilbert Engel, Paul Gustafson, Kathy Just, Ken Keller, George Kloppenberg, Tom Mailand, Dennis Marcely, Don Pazynski, Al Sauld, Christopher Schmidt, Vilas Schroeder, and David Zahn.

Opposed to removing the sunset clause were supervisors Josh Anderson, Russ Bauer, Robert Holly, Shirley Kaufman, Fred Meintz, Rick Polzin, Janis Porfilio, Bill Stankevich, Clancy Whiting, Cheryl Wruk and Board Chair Mark Anderson. Supervisors Mike Behnke and Al Mans were absent due to illness and excused.

By removing the provision that would have ended the sales tax in 2021 County Board made it a permanent part of county finances unless further action is taken some time in the future. In doing so, the board broke a promise made to voters when the sales tax was adopted to pay for construction of the Law Enforcement Center.

At recent Finance and Executive committee meetings and during County Board discussion prior to the vote, County Administrator Shawn Henessee had warned that even if there is no new borrowing, if the sales tax were to end as scheduled in 2021 he would either have to cut $800,000 from the budget for each of the next five years or the property tax would quadruple after 2021.

State law limits property tax increases for operating expenses to the amount of new construction, which for Marinette County was .8 of a percent last year. The levy limits to not apply to property taxes levied to pay off long term debt. Since 2014, the county has borrowed some $$33 million for capital improvement projects. Starting last year, the debt payments exceeded the amount available from the sales tax and the difference was added to the property tax levy.

However, as Finance Committee Chair Vilas Schroeder has repeatedly pointed out, the Marinette County property tax rate remains the third lowest in the state's 72 counties.

As revised, the Marinette County ordinance allows sales proceeds to be used to pay for economic development, tourism promotion, capital improvement projects, long-term debt payments, and property tax reduction.

As requested by County Board last month, Henessee had prepared a plan for eliminating all debt by 2029 while maintaining the highway department and the county road system, but it hinged on keeping the sales tax in place.

It also required cutting additional borrowing for roads from the $19.5 million in the currently approved 5-year Capital Improvement Plan to less than $6 million, and no borrowing for roads in 2020 and 2021. It included cutting $100,000 a year from the annual snowplowing allocation.

The Highway Committee on Sept. 14 approved revisions to the capital improvement plan that removed several reconstruction projects entirely but did not replace them later in the plan. That brought objections from the Finance Committee at an 8:15 am. meeting that preceded the County Board session on Tuesday. Vote was to send the revisions back to the Highway Committee with instructions for them to come back with a plan for how to deal with these roads in the future. Projects removed but not replaced were $2.4 million scheduled for County W from Hwy. 64 to Hwy. 141 in 2017; $930,000 for overlay on County C; $345,000 for overlay on County P, and $1.365 for reconditioning County W from Reif Road to Hwy. 64 in 2018 , plus work slated for other roads in 2019 and beyond. No provisions were made for any of those projects in future years, or at least they were not listed in a long term capital improvement schedule.

Henessee had prepared a response to questions from Anderson and others in regard to an operating deficit, as well as a budget message and a plan for eliminating debt by 2029.

At the full board meeting, Anderson suggested separating the question, and subsequently the board approved the budget message but postponed adoption of the plan to eliminate debt. That plan included taking $10 million from county reserves if necessary. The reserves would be the $20 million that was put into a property tax reduction fund from the sale of Pine View Health Care Center and Bay Area Medical Center, the former Marinette County General Hospital.

Henessee said the county has been paying about $1.1 million more a year in employee health insurance premiums than other counties of comparable size, and that savings could be used to cut the impact of ending the borrowing cycle. He prefers not to use the reserve funds if possible.

Prior to the vote that makes the sales tax permanent, several supervisors referred to the promises that were made in the past.

"When we passed the sales tax we said 20 years, and the only way I would favor getting rid of it is if a good portion of the funds would go to the District Attorney's Office and the Sheriff's Department," Wruk declared. She said these are reactive departments which have no control over their expenses and need to be funded.

"The public did not want the sales tax," Bauer recalled. "We had to promise to end it in 20 years." He too opposed removing the sunset provision.

"I think it's a real mistake to send things in perpetuity forever," Holley declared.

Pazynski favored removing the sunset provision. He said a lot has happened in 15 years, and taxpayers in the county have greater and greater needs. "We're not taking food from children or the elderly," he said, and referred to the half a percent sales tax as such a negligible amount that no one would miss it.

"As much as we don't like it, we are in a difficult situation," commented Engel. "This is not a burden on anybody."

Sauve and Schroeder both mentioned that with the sales tax, the tourists who visit the county help pay for the cost of operating it.

Just wondered how they would replace the $3 million or so that the sales tax provides.

Polzin said eliminating the sunset provision gives a bland check to county government,

Meintz recalled a year before the sales tax was adopted there was a referendum in which electors rejected the sales tax idea, but then a year later County Board adopted it with the promise that it would end in 20 years, when the Law Enforcement Center was paid for.

Henessee said the decision was up to the board, but the only options to extending the sales tax would be to make $800,000 to $1 million in budget cuts each year for the next four years or increase the property tax levy for debt service to approximately quadruple the current property tax rate.

Henessee said as he looks further into the health insurance issue he is becoming more confident that huge savings are available.

He said Marinette County is paying $31,000 a year for every employee with family coverage, while other counties on average pay $11,000 less per employee.

"I want to be fair to our employees, but we also need to be fiscally responsible," he declared.

The county currently has a wage benefit study in progress, but that did not enter into the discussion.

In other action, the board:

*Easily approved revisions to the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance as recommended by Zoning Administrator John LeFebvre and the Land Information Committee;

*Adopted the MarOco budget as approved by the joint Marinette/Oconto county governing committee;

*Approved temporary committee assignments to replace Peshtigo Supervisor Mike Behnke until he is able to resume his duties on the board. The appointments put Phillips on the Law Enforcement and Emergency Management Committee, Keller on the Building and Property Committee, and Holley on the Personnel and Veterans Service Committee.

*Reappointment of Shirley Prudhomme of Crivitz as a member at large on the Tourism Alliance Committee for a new term expiring in April of 2018 was approved.

*There were annual department head reports from Information Services Director Kevin Solway and Emergency Management Director Eric Burmeister.

*On recommendation of the Building and Property Committee the board approved agreements with SGTS Inc., for a building access control system at a cost of $114,563 for automatic locks and key fob entry system on doors at the courthouse and the Health and Human Services buildings, and with Camera Corner/Connecting Point for replacement of jail video system cameras and software at a cost of $140,972.85. Funding for both projects is to come from money borrowed for the 2016 Capital Improvement Plan.

*As recommended by the Finance and Health and Human Services Committees, the board approved transfer of $49,075.20 from the Health and Human Services Department Fund Balance to its Youth Aids account for juvenile foster care placement.

*A resolution opposing the proposed Back Forty mine project was approved without dissent.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
06-21-2017Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane/Silver Cliff Host co. Council ACA

06-21-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Town Board To Attend Sex Offender Meet

06-21-2017Community - Wausaukee
Prayer Conference at Athelstane Church

06-21-2017Community - Wausaukee
Part of Pike River, Freele Closed for Run

06-21-2017Community - Crivitz
Northeast Asphalt Gets Wagner Cold Mix Bid

06-21-2017Community - Crivitz
Train Derailment in Village Crivitz

06-21-2017Community - Crivitz
Ladies of Faith Charity Luncheon

06-21-2017Community - Crivitz
Village Brush Disposal Taken Through June 26

06-21-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin

06-21-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Fire Department Responds to Structure Fire

06-21-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Lions To Sponsor Movie June 29

06-21-2017Community - Coleman
Church Has Booth During Car Show

06-21-2017Community - Coleman
10th Annual Pound Car Show June 24th

06-21-2017Perspectives
From our readers

06-21-2017Front Page
Coleman Founder, Joseph Brault Day Big Success

06-21-2017Perspectives
From My Window

06-21-2017Front Page
Expect County Pay Plan To Cost $313,385 In 2017

06-21-2017Front Page
Town of Peshtigo Names Staudenmaier Vice Chair

06-21-2017Obituaries
Kenneth B. Prestine

06-21-2017Obituaries
William Pairon

06-21-2017Front Page
Marinette County Breakfast on the Farm is June 25th

06-21-2017Obituaries
Walter T. Multerer

06-21-2017Obituaries
Richard P. Kordes

06-21-2017Front Page
Big Day Of Activities at Crivitz Tuesday, July 4th

06-21-2017Obituaries
Raymond J. Kopish

06-21-2017Obituaries
Diana Gutmann

06-21-2017Obituaries
Arthur Godin

06-21-2017Obituaries
Kenneth J. Dinse

06-21-2017Obituaries
Faye L. (Harbick) Archambault

06-21-2017Obituaries
William M. Aman

06-21-2017Sports
Langlois/Wagner Head Marine All-Conference Selections

06-21-2017Sports
Jacobson Tops M&O Golf Squad

06-21-2017Sports
Osterberg Earns Back-to-Back Player of the Year Awards

06-21-2017Sports
Kotecki/Debriyn Share Most Valuable Player

06-14-2017Sports
"FORE Their Future" Schedule Announced

06-14-2017Sports
Peshtigo Youth Fishing Tourney Is Big Success

06-14-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee 5K Run/Walk July 1

06-14-2017Sports
Area Legion Teams Take to the Diamond

06-14-2017Community - Wausaukee
SC Auxiliary Discusses Aug. 12 Picnic, Parade

06-14-2017Community - Wausaukee
Building with Plants at Library June 28

06-14-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Legion, Aux. Holds Meeting

06-14-2017Community - Coleman
Discussion on GMO Realities at Library

06-14-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Hosts Wrestling Clinic

06-14-2017Community - Coleman
Honor Students for Coleman High School

06-14-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board Lists Hirings, Resignations

06-14-2017Sports
Rangers' Playoff Run Ends in State Semifinal

06-14-2017Community - Crivitz
PTSD Run for Recovery June 24

06-14-2017Community - Crivitz
County W Work In Crivitz To Be Finished By July 4

06-14-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin

06-14-2017Community - Crivitz
Country Gospel Jam is June 16

06-14-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz May Qualify For State Emergency Aid

06-14-2017Perspectives
From our readers

06-14-2017Perspectives
From My Window

06-14-2017Obituaries
Lorraine A. Woulf

06-14-2017Obituaries
Shirley A. Redmann

06-14-2017Obituaries
Margarete B. Pichler

06-14-2017Obituaries
Keith H. Miller

06-14-2017Obituaries
Francis Kordish

06-14-2017Obituaries
Charlene V. Heimke

06-14-2017Obituaries
William V. Handle

06-14-2017Obituaries
H. David Elmer

06-14-2017Obituaries
June D. Ziech,

06-14-2017Obituaries
Virginia R. Wehrman

06-14-2017Obituaries
Charles J. Stodola

06-14-2017Obituaries
Lowell D. Rice

06-14-2017Obituaries
Genevieve E. Mahoney

06-14-2017Obituaries
Kurt E. Lundgren

06-14-2017Obituaries
Kay L. Johnson

06-14-2017Obituaries
Doreen L. Hermsen

06-14-2017Obituaries
Ruth A. Harmer

06-14-2017Obituaries
Faye Iva (Parker) Larsen and Curtis Raymond Larsen

06-14-2017Obituaries
Ralph A. Eastland

06-14-2017Obituaries
Leonard Dudkiewicz

06-14-2017Obituaries
Kathryn A. Chevalier

06-14-2017Obituaries
Kenneth "Pete" Burbey

06-14-2017Obituaries
Jeanette A. Babik

06-14-2017Front Page
STORM CLEANUP

06-14-2017Front Page
Three Towns Could Qualify for Disaster Aid After Storms Cause Power Outages, Damage

06-14-2017Front Page
Business Owners Interested in Former Porterfield School

06-14-2017Front Page
Marinette Council Tables Resolution Regarding Proposed Back Forty Mine

06-14-2017Front Page
Pound To Settle Village Paving Issues In July

06-14-2017Front Page
Marinette County Forestry Approves $1,353,612 Sale

06-07-2017Obituaries
Sandra L. Weir

06-07-2017Obituaries
Crestamari L. Walters

06-07-2017Obituaries
Rowland P. Trepanier

06-07-2017Obituaries
Virginia Surk

06-07-2017Obituaries
Peter Staal

06-07-2017Obituaries
Lawrence L. Siebers

06-07-2017Obituaries
Juanita Picard

06-07-2017Obituaries
John G. Paitl

06-07-2017Obituaries
Richard W. Netzel

06-07-2017Obituaries
Roberta F. McKenney

06-07-2017Obituaries
Tara M. Dennis

06-07-2017Obituaries
Sandy Berth

06-07-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive is June 19

06-07-2017Community - Wausaukee
Real Communication at Wausaukee Library

06-07-2017Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire Auxiliary To Make Picnic Plans

06-07-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Library Reading Program June 14

06-07-2017Community - Crivitz
2 Crivitz Teams in State YES! Contest

06-07-2017Obituaries
Eldean I. E. (Sjoquist) Wilch

06-07-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion Gun Show on June 17

06-07-2017Obituaries
Harold R. Wettanen

06-07-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Summer Hours

06-07-2017Obituaries
Nancy L. Polzin

06-07-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz VFW Unit Raffle Calendar Sale

06-07-2017Obituaries
Brenda L. Oleson

06-07-2017Community - Coleman
Benefit Yard Sale at Beaver June 8, 9

06-07-2017Obituaries
Vallarie Krzych

06-07-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Utility Board June 12

06-07-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Elementary Students Read 100 Million Words During the 2016-17 School Year

06-07-2017Obituaries
Donald H. Klumb 

06-07-2017Community - Coleman
Live Music at CHS Classes Reunion

06-07-2017Obituaries
Agnes A. Johnson

06-07-2017Obituaries
Elorine C. Hubbard

06-07-2017Front Page
Lemery Brothers Bond Through Storm Chasing

06-07-2017Obituaries
Harriet E. Beffa

06-07-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin

06-07-2017Front Page
Peshtigo Accepts Grants, Plans Old Hammes' Building Demolition

06-07-2017Front Page
Village Coleman Approves Sex Offender Ordinance

06-07-2017Front Page
Marinette Council Awards Sale of Notes for New Rec Center

06-07-2017Front Page
Sex Offender Ordinance Passes Pound Town Board

06-07-2017Perspectives
From My Window

06-07-2017Sports
WIAA STATE GOLF

06-07-2017Sports
Cougars Repeat As Division 3 Boys State Champions

06-07-2017Sports
Wausaukee Makes Fourth State Appearance

06-07-2017Sports
Coleman & Niagara Bow Out in Sectional Finals

05-31-2017Sports
WIAA State Track & Field in LaCrosse This Weekend

05-31-2017Sports
24 Area Athletes Head to State Meet in LaCrosse

05-31-2017Sports
Wausaukee Last Area Team Left Standing

05-31-2017Sports
Four Area Teams Advance To Regional Final

05-31-2017Obituaries
Mary Lou Sommerfeldt

05-31-2017Obituaries
Mavis L. Patterson

05-31-2017Obituaries
Dolores K. Morstad

05-31-2017Obituaries
Faye L. Melka

05-31-2017Obituaries
Debbie Delfosse

05-31-2017Obituaries
Susan L. Bunting

05-31-2017Obituaries
Kevin C. Anderson

05-31-2017Obituaries
Julie L. Vinson

05-31-2017Obituaries
Earl J. Skenandore

05-31-2017Obituaries
Shirley M. Ness

05-31-2017Obituaries
Victor P. Stankevich Jr.

05-31-2017Community - Wausaukee
Seek Volunteers for Goodman Music in Park

05-31-2017Obituaries
Linda Stimac

05-31-2017Obituaries
Rose M. Senn

05-31-2017Obituaries
Yvonne Rhude

05-31-2017Obituaries
Michelle M. Lentz

05-31-2017Obituaries
Robert Race

05-31-2017Community - Wausaukee
GMO Realities Talk at Library

05-31-2017Obituaries
Rita M. LaPlant

05-31-2017Obituaries
Peter V. DeRossi


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think President Trump being tough with North Korea is the thing to do?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2017
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites