I love it when an organization I’ve never even heard of…

December 17th, 2009

…has the power to raise my taxes:

Beginning July 1, buy cialis buy cialis consumers will pay a little more for food and beverages purchased in Milwaukee County.

As expected, sovaldi the Wisconsin Center District board voted Wednesday to raise the tax from 0.25% to 0.50% in order to meet its own debt-service obligations.

I believe this is exactly the way the Founding Fathers hoped their Revolution would turn out.

Entry Filed under: Milwaukee

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. John Foust  |  December 18th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    You see the same thing in smaller cities, where a hotel room tax committee spends to promote tourism. The actual tax rate gets set and approved by the local elected council, but in Milwaukee’s case they’re a different entity as allowed by purposefully-written exceptions in state law.

    “Tourism” is quite broadly defined in state law and practice as almost any sort of travel that involves spending money once they get there. You can call almost anything “tourism”. Heads in beds, they call it, but they’re often happy with any sort of visitors regardless of how far they’ve travelled. In my town, the first thing they did with the windfall from the new room tax? They had custom-made wrought iron planters made for downtown, so they’d match the public garbage cans.

    And as with this district board, these committees are often populated with the owners of the various businesses who benefit from “heads in beds.” In many cities, the hotel tax revenue just percolates through the city and is laundered through places like the local Chamber of Commerce, who carries out that business and tourism promotion. Once a dollar gets washed in this mechanism, it’s largely untraceable as to whether it was really used to promote tourism or used to support other efforts of the similarly unelected and unaccountable business promotion group. It’s a handout to local businesses.

    The Thompson administration, with its close ties to the Dells tourism industry, was a master of this. It continues in various forms to this day, usually under the guise of local business promotion, and approved by the very same local business leaders who are otherwise voting Republican and carping about high taxes chasing businesses away. If the pork is fresh and local, it tastes much better.

    To clarify, this tax is on food and bev in restaurants and bars, not grocery stores.

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