Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Rhinelander city administrator suggests city look for new ways to get moneySubmitted: 06/17/2014
Story By Lauren Stephenson


RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's City Administrator thinks the city relies too much on property taxes. Blaine Oborn presented his findings to the City Council last week.

Taxpayers in Rhinelander pay a little more than $750 in property taxes on average each year.

In Antigo, taxpayers pay a little more than half of that, while Merrill residents pay more than $500 on average in property taxes. Both of those cities have almost double the taxable residential property compared to Rhinelander.

"We're overly dependent on property tax and we have low to moderate income people. We have a high daytime population. Our commercial industrial even though we have a strong base here, is not contributing enough to really bring that down," Oborn said.

He says government spending isn't the issue. The City of Rhinelander's spending is $95 per capita compared to Antigo's $115 and Merrill's $119 per capita.

Oborn says Oneida County collects nearly $4 million in sales tax each year. He believes half of that revenue comes from Rhinelander. But the city doesn't get any of that money.

Rhinelander accounts for more than 30% of all trade area sales.

"When you talk about trade area, our trade area goes into Vilas County and up into Upper Michigan, and then Forest County and the counties to the west of us, too," he explained.

Oborn believes the city should look at retail to draw in more money.

About 7,800 people live in Rhinelander. But during the day, there are more than 14,000 people in the city.

"During the daytime, our police and our fire get busier. Our roads get used a lot and so that has an impact on the services that we have to provide," Oborn said.

He believes the city could bring in more money by increasing fees.

One option the city's considering is having the fire department charge people involved in crashes.

He also thinks the city should consider a premier resort tax. That's an extra half cent tax charged at tourism-related businesses.

Oborn thinks it could bring in between $300,000 and $800,000. The extra money would be used to improve infrastructure in the city.

"If you go to a hardware store, they wouldn't have to charge the extra tax. But if you went to a department store or a sporting goods store, that's considered more tourism-related, then they would have to collect the half cent in sales tax," Oborn explained.

The Department of Revenue decides which businesses must charge the tax. The state legislature would have to approve the tax for Rhinelander.

Then it would most likely go to a referendum.

Lake Delton, Wisconsin Dells, Bayfield and Eagle River have Premier Resort Taxes.

You can see a chart of the revenue from the premier resort tax at the link below.

Related Weblinks:
Premier Resort Tax Distributions

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

WISCONSIN - Flu season peaked earlier than usual this year in Wisconsin. The flu season usually runs from October to May the number of cases peaking in March. This year, the flu started to peak mid-February. Last week alone there were nearly 1,000 cases in Wisconsin. At that time last year there weren't even 200 cases. 

Each year the flu virus is different, which means a different vaccine. The vaccine is not completely effective, but people who get the flu vaccine are still more likely to avoid the flu than those who don't.

+ Read More

MADISON - A key Republican legislator says Gov. Scott Walker's plan to cut University of Wisconsin System tuition could hurt taxpayers that and lawmakers should instead consider letting the system raise tuition according to inflation or income increases.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The Oscars filled Sunday night with entertainment and a few bloopers. But for many Northwoods viewers, some of the winners were unfamiliar. 

"Moonlight," "La La Land," and "Fences" all walked away as major winners in Sunday night's Academy Awards.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - Have you ever thought about starting a career in law enforcement? Every year the Minocqua Police Department hires someone to be a community service officer. The position lasts through the summer and is open to civilians.

The job mainly involves working foot patrol duties and enforcing downtown parking rules. But the position has a customer service aspect to it too. 

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Minocqua Brewing Company is hosting a Fat Tuesday food and wine pairing night on Feb.28. 

The New Orleans staple, beignets, will top the food list.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - Fire alarms went off at the Lincoln County Jail early Sunday morning.  It turns out there was no fire, but quite the mess for jail workers to clean up.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - The candidates to be Wisconsin's top education official offered contrasting viewpoints on whether to increase money for private-school vouchers during their first head-to-head forum since advancing from primaries last week.

Two-term incumbent Superintendent Tony Evers said during Monday's forum that he worries voucher money would hurt funding for public schools. Evers' challenger, Lowell Holtz, says he supports more money for vouchers because it would increase competition and choice in the state's education system.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here