Friday, January 18th, 2019

Waukesha Mayor unhappy with proposal to take room tax money away

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Alderman Aaron Perry posted the following on his Facebook page:

From: Mayor Reilly
To:
Adam Neylon (Rep.Neylon@legis.wi.gov);
Scott Allen (Rep.Allen@legis.wisconsin.gov);
Senator Paul F. Farrow (Sen.Farrow@legis.wisconsin.gov);…
Dear Senator Farrow, Representative Neylon and Representative Allen;

I am writing to you on behalf of the City of Waukesha. I understand that it is possible that the room tax issue may be discussed in Joint Finance this afternoon.

The proposed Room Tax Bill, if adopted, would have a significant impact on the General Fund budget of the City of Waukesha. My Finance Director indicates that the impact would result in the loss of approximately $250,000.00. Last year during our 2015 budget deliberations, we agonized over how we would reduce our expenditures by $150,000.00 so as to remain under our expenditure restraint limits. The loss of $250,000.00 in 2016 from our General Fund would create severe financial issues for the City of Waukesha.

If the proposed Room Tax Bill is successful, then it will be clear that the Budget Bill is being used as a vehicle to advance the interests of the Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Association at the expense of the interests of the City of Waukesha and other municipalities. I understand that the Budget Bill has sometimes been used for legislative purposes even if the legislation does not have an impact upon the State Budget. The fact that this has been done in the past though does not make it right. The Budget Bill should not be used to reduce the amount of general funds available to the City when such decision has no impact whatsoever upon the State Budget.

Sincerely

Shawn N. Reilly, Mayor
City of Waukesha

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