County Board to Discuss Continuation of Sales Tax Next Week

The continuation of the county’s half-percent sales tax will be on the agenda when the Fond du Lac County Board meets next week. Currently, the sales tax is set to terminate at the end of 2021, when the debt service for a $50 million loan to Mercury Marine to keep the company in Fond du Lac will end. The issue county supervisors are looking at is whether to continue the tax beyond that date. County Executive Allen Buechel says about $8.3 million was generated from the tax in 2018 – and that money has been used for different projects around the county. “We’ve been using the balance of the sales tax dollars for capital projects, including three million dollars to improve roads, another million and a half to two million for other capital issues, that if we didn’t have the sales tax to pay those bills, we’d have to borrow the money,” Buechel said.

Buechel says if the tax is allowed to terminate, then the county will need to borrow to get projects done and that would increase the property tax for debt service. He says the board has been tackling the issue and, “they see the advantages, not only the economic development efforts, but also the fact that we’ve been able to hold down our borrowing.” Buechel said in an interview last month that he believes the majority of supervisors feel the need to continue the sales tax, but he says he doesn’t know how they will actually vote in the meeting. The board meets Tuesday at 6 pm at the City/County Government Center in Fond du Lac.