At first glance the referendum question for Sturgeon Bay residents appears rather harmless and a solution to the city’s crumbling roads. Take a closer look, and you’ll see that two words change everything about the small 0.5 percent levy tax. Those words being “infrastructure expenses,” followed by the statute where you’ll find the definition for infrastructure expenses. When you google Wis. Stats. 66.1113(1)(a) you’ll see that the city is attempting to levy a tax allowing the city to spend the tax income on a whole slew of items beyond the streets.
Infrastructure expenses, as defined in the statute states firstly transportation facilities, including roads and bridges – no surprise, great. However, the definition continues with “sewer and water facilities; exposition center facilities…or other events involving educational, cultural, recreational, sporting or commercial activities; recreational facilities; firefighting equipment; police vehicles;
ambulances; and other equipment or material dedicated to public safety or public works.” If the street levy tax (PRAT referendum) is passed, the projected $800,000 collected per year could be spent on a lot of other things than our degraded roads and streets. Thus putting our road maintenance schedule further behind than it already is.
Did the city administration purposefully add the “infrastructure expenses” to the referendum so they could continue moving funds, “stealing from Peter to pay Paul?”
I hope not. I want to trust our city administration, but when I see wording and actions like this, I wonder, do they really have the best interests in mind for the
whole community, or are they doing the same old thing, causing the potential downward financial spiral that is referenced in the Credit Score Report from Moody’s.
Vote “NO” on the City of Sturgeon Bay PRAT Referendum.
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.