Letter to the Editor: Thank You, Garey Bies

The voters of Sister Bay recently approved the implementation of a Premier Resort Area Tax (PRAT). The vote was the last remaining component required prior to the tax being implemented. The “heavy lifting” for this tax began in 2001-02 when village officials from Sister Bay and Ephraim requested Representative Garey Bies pursue legislation for PRAT approval.

At that time only two Wisconsin communities had obtained PRAT approval. They were the City of Wisconsin Dells and the Village of Lake Delton.

Representative Bies learned that the northern City of Bayfield was also interested in acquiring PRAT approval. Bayfield had a Democratic representative while Representative Bies was a Republican. Representative Bies wrote the legislation for PRAT approval for the communities of Bayfield, Ephraim and Sister Bay.

He successfully worked to acquire bipartisan support which resulted in the passage of the PRAT legislation in 2002. The City of Bayfield implemented their PRAT in 2003.

As a result of Representative Bies’ work many years ago, the Village of Sister Bay will have a new revenue stream for infrastructure use that is estimated to be in the range of a $160,000 annually. Sister Bay residents owe Garey a hearty, belated “thank you for your efforts.”


Tom Sadler

Sister Bay, Wis.

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