Loading

80°F

75°F

77°F

76°F

79°F

77°F

79°F

76°F

77°F

79°F

77°F

79°F
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

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - Police have arrested a Wisconsin Rapids man after he allegedly fired his gun at street lights, saying he was protecting the universe from aliens.

+ Read More

ONEIDA COUNTY - Invasive species specialists work hard to protect our lakes, but a few areas in Oneida County aren't doing as well as they'd like.

Aquatic experts have found invasive species in four new Oneida County lakes this summer. It's not a great sign, but it also isn't like years ago when someone might find acres of an invasive. However, it's still an issue.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Some veterans worry the community will forget war memories as time goes on.

The Montgomery, Plant, Dudley American Legion Post 10 in Wausau wants to remember one group of U.S. allies in the Vietnam War.

That's the Hmong community in Wausau.

"They hunted the Hmong like animals," said Xeng Xiong, a Hmong veteran living in Wausau.

That's how he described living in Laos once his country fell to communism in 1975.

"So they tried everything to kill Hmong men, Hmong soldiers," Xiong said.

Xiong is one of the many Hmong who escaped to the US after the Vietnam War. As a Hmong, he was targeted by the communist government for his involvement with the US.

"They hated the Hmong people because they labeled Hmong men as the number one enemy who supported United States," Xiong said. 

+ Read More

Play Video

WISCONSIN - The DNR set new rules for tagging deer hit by a car. The new rules remove local law enforcement from the process.

You no longer have to call police to get a tag issued for a deer carcass, if you want to take it home after an accident.

"The new policy for the DNR shows that you just have to dial a number in order to get a tag issued for a deer on the side of the road instead of having to call a dispatcher to get a deputy on scene," said Oneida County Sheriff's Department Dispatch Brandi Gray.

This has to be done before taking the deer from the scene. The person who hit the deer has the right to take it, but if they don't want the deer, anyone can have it.

+ Read More

Play Video

BOULDER JUNCTION - The Northwoods makes a great setting for all different kinds of scientific research.

Summer is the busiest time for some researchers at the UW Trout Lake Station, but they took time Friday to hold an open house to show off their research projects.

+ Read More

Play Video

BOULDER JUNCTION - The boat looks like something from a science fiction movie as it creeps across Northwoods lakes at night.

Its long arms jut into the water, sending electrical pulses into the lake.

Under a nearly-full moon on a warm July night, it motors across Sparkling Lake in Vilas County.

"We can actually sneak up on them in the evenings, when it's dark out," says Dr. Noah Lottig, who's driving the boat. "They're up there, they don't see us coming, and we can sneak up on them."

+ Read More

Play Video

MADISON - People with five, seven, or even ten or more OWI convictions in Wisconsin usually serve time in jail or even in prison.  But they could be driving again soon after they get out.

Wisconsin law allows a person convicted of an OWI to get an occupational license for traveling to places such as work or church within 45 days after their release. But some lawmakers think that policy could lead to serious trouble.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here