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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

 1:02 PM 

Senate signs off on bill to return excess Lambeau Field sales tax dollars

The Senate has unanimously signed off on legislation that would return excess sales tax revenue collected for the Lambeau Field renovations to Brown County municipalities.

The stadium district certified earlier this year it had paid off the bonds for the project, which expanded capacity and added the atrium, and built up a required reserve fund to pay for maintenance and operating costs. But there is a lag before the half-cent sales tax can be removed.

That is scheduled to happen Sept. 30. By then, approximately $17.6 million will have built up, and the bill would send a quarter of that to Brown County with the rest returned to other municipalities in the county according to population.

Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, proposed an amendment to instead send the money back to taxpayers through a rebate check of $70 per individual of $135 per household.

“I think this would be a better way to respond to the over taxation by giving it back to the people,” Hansen said.

But Sen. Rob Cowles, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, moved tabling, and his GOP colleagues shot down the idea.

“We think that’s the best way to do this and the most proficient way to do this,” Cowles, R-Green Bay, said of sending the money to the county and municipalities.


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