Brown County Sales Tax Increase Referendum (2010)
This measure was defeated meaning the tax will not be repealed.
- YES 2,253 (48.78%)
- NO 2,366 (51.22%)
The county commissioners passed a .25 sales tax increase but this is being challenged by residents who had started a petition drive to get this issue to a vote. The increase was voted on and approved by the commissioners after public hearings, where members laid out the county's budget issues and explained the shortfalls that would occur next year if the county did not find a way to increase their revenue. This increase is estimated to add $500,000 to the county budget. 1,406 signatures are needed by November 27 in order to be approved.
Because the tax was passed in the form of two resolutions, two petitions were needed to address the issue. The first one addressed the retail sales tax and the other motor vehicles. If this tax stays in place it will put Brown county at the cap of 7 percent sales tax. Opponents of the tax fear that residents would go to nearby cities with a lower sales tax to do their shopping.
The petitions were turned in November 25 to the city clerk. Most people seemed willing to see this issue put to a vote, even if they were unsure if they approved of the tax or not. Due to this delay caused by the petition, the county will be forced to make more cuts the beginning of the new year. The county board of election will have 10 days to verify the signatures on the petition and once that has been verified the county can take the next step.
As of December 22, the petitions were approved and the two propositions will appear on the May ballot for voter approval. County officials are still not decided on how to manage the budget without the added funds from the increased sales tax that would have taken effect January 1.
- Brown County Board of Elections, May 4 Cumulative Election Results
- The Ledger Independent, "Petition could challenge tax increase," November 10, 2009
- The Ledger Independent, "Petition could keep tax increase from taking effect," December 1, 2009
- News Democrat, "Sales tax petitions filed," November 29, 2009
- The Ledger Independent, "Sales tax petitions certified in Brown County," December 22, 2009
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