Sunday, January 14, 2018

"The Curious Case of Former State Sen. George Petak , R-Racine"

Dear County Board,

For your consideration:

Everybody in Racine is familiar with former state Sen. George Petak , R-Racine who threw his vote to legally bind Racine County Residents to pay a never ending sales tax to fund Milwaukee County Millionaire Baseball Owners and Players; then claimed to have left Wisconsin to go to Tennessee so he could dedicate his life to helping orphans and children in foster; except to magically re-appear in Madison Wisconsin, be appointed to high level cushy State jobs at WI DFI (Department of Financial Institutions) and WHEDA (WISCONSIN HOUSING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY), get back credits for a taxpayer funded overly generous WI Taxpayer funded State Pension and live the hedonistic lifestyle he always dreamed about; as an unelected State employee at taxpayers expense, of course.

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — Some Milwaukee residents say twenty years should be long enough to pay for Miller Park.

“I don’t understand why the sales tax is still going, and why they need to extend it further. It seems as if the consumer has paid enough for the stadium,” Ann Fasbender said.
Every year since 1996, five Milwaukee-area counties have paid an extra .1 percent sales tax, or ten cents for ever $100 spent, to support Miller Park. Last year, the tax netted more than $30 million for the Brewers.

Wisconsin Senator Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee, introduced a bill to end the tax in 2019 for good. He says he loves the Brewers as much as anyone…  When he voted for the tax in 1996, was that it would end in 2014. He says the recession changed the timetable, and it was extended to 2019.
The Miller Park District sent this statement when asked about the bill:

“The Miller Park District Board of Directors has always been committed to retiring the 0.1% Miller Park sales tax as quickly as possible. Senator Carpenter’s bill appears to be consistent with the sentiment of the Miller Park District Board, and while well-intentioned, the bill as introduced might actually prove to be unconstitutional.

In essence, 2017 Senate Bill 443 is very similar to previously proposed legislation regarding the Miller Park District and the related 0.1% sales tax. The previously proposed legislation was found to be unconstitutional in that it violated the existing terms and conditions of bond contracts, bond insurance and other legal agreements. Because the District feels 2017 Senate Bill 443 may also be found to be unconstitutional, it would not be appropriate or necessary for the District to comment further before the proposed legislation is properly vetted by state agencies and state legal counsel.”

So a questionably Constitutional Tax to fund Millionaire/Billionaire Baseball Owners/Players is forever enmeshed in Red Tape?

What of the 2016 Racine County CAFR? A nearly $10M operating loss -and large transfers in.
Is this a "one time event" or a growing problem?

Time will tell.


Tim & Cindy

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