Capitol Buzz
February 12, 2021
Governor to Include Local Sales Tax Option in Budget Proposal

Governor Evers announced today that he will include in his 2021-2023 state budget to be introduced next week, a proposal allowing cities and villages with a population over 30,000 to give their citizens the option of adopting, by referendum, a one-half percent sales tax to fund local services. Counties, which already have authority to enact a one-half percent sales tax without referendum, could choose to propose a referendum to add an additional one-half percent onto their existing sales tax. 

Under the proposal, 2020 U.S. Census data or Department of Administration (DOA) population estimates would be used to determine which communities would be eligible to go to a referendum for imposing a local sales tax.

According to 2020 population estimates posted on the DOA's web site, 26 cities and one village had populations of at least 30,000 last year. They are: Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha, Racine, Appleton, Waukesha, Eau Claire, Oshkosh, Janesville, West Allis, La Crosse, Sheboygan, Wauwatosa, Fond du Lac, New Berlin, Brookfield, Menomonee Falls, Wausau, Greenfield, Oak Creek, Franklin, Beloit, Sun Prairie, Manitowoc, West Bend and Fitchburg.

Read Governor Evers' press release here.

The League supports Governor Evers' proposal to give local governments an additional tool to fund essential local services. Read the League's statement here.

The Governor will introduce his state budget proposal on Tuesday, February 16. After introduction, the Republican controlled Legislature will begin preparing it's version of a state budget. Like last session, it is anticipated that the Republicans will set aside the Governor's state budget proposal and will use the current state budget as their starting point for developing their own version of the 2021-2023 state budget. The League will continue to advocate for diversification of revenue options for local governments with both parties during the legislative deliberations on the budget.