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Waukesha County wants data before supporting stadium tax

Dec. 17, 2013

Waukesha County Board Chairman Paul Decker said it's too early to consider any type of support for a new sports arena in Milwaukee. Discussion at the county comes amid speculation that a regional tax could be extended from the Miller Park stadium tax.

While nothing has been formally suggested regarding a push for a regional tax, Decker expects the majority of the County Board on Tuesday to vote in favor of a resolution that opposes such a tax to finance construction of a new venue.

Last week, the Executive Committee unanimously passed a resolution against imposing a tax that could be similar to the one for Miller Park. Resolutions similar to the one passed last week also have been passed by county boards in Racine and Ozaukee counties.

Decker said they are waiting to see what data Milwaukee County officials have to back up the need for the tax before it can be considered. He also said the tax would have to be different — not an extension of — the Miller Park stadium tax.

"It's a separate issue than the stadium. And we're also looking for data; that's the reason for our resolution. We need reasonable data, a business plan and what it means to the economy," Decker said.

There will be Waukesha County representation on the 48-member Cultural and Entertainment Capital Needs Task Force. The group met for the first time last week and will spend a year reviewing capital needs for cultural and entertainment institutions throughout the region. It will then come up with recommendations.

Decker said that, for now, he has heard from constituents in the area he represents, which includes Delafield and Nashotah, who said that while they use Miller Park, they want more creative ideas before they would support another venue.

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