Manitowoc County is in the “exploratory stage” of possibly implementing a half percent sales tax. Backers of the tax say it would raise around six million dollars annually, and could be used to help fix what some local leaders are calling “a crumbling infrastructure”. Two Rivers City Manager, Greg Buckley, is in favor of the ax, but has heard from his constituents that there is “no firm plan in place”. “I’m not going to disagree with that,” Zigelbauer stated, “None of our cities, nor our county, is spending as much as we should be to keep up on the infrastructure investment that we have. That’s kind of like buying a house and letting it go to heck. It’s going to catch up to you, and it’s pretty evident as you drive around that it is catching up to us.”
Buckley stated yesterday that the state has “dropped the ball” on it’s responsibility to assist municipalities. He also doesn’t speak kindly of the property tax, calling it “the least popular, most onerous, regressive form of taxes. “ He went on to say, “Something’s got to give, and I’d prefer it not be one of our bridges or one of our roadways.”
Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels is also in favor of the tax to deal primarily with infrastructure, but the Two Rivers City Manager said on WOMT’s Be My Guest, that state statutes only allow county government to implement the tax. “The city of Manitowoc alone can’t do it. The City of Two Rivers alone can’t do it,” Buckley stated. “It just seems if we had dialogue instead of lobbing bombs back and forth, which reflects to much of our politics at the federal and state level so let’s hope we don’t see much of it locally, could work this through.”
Buckley and the city council plan to speak with their County Board Representatives soon. County Executive, Bob Ziegelbauer remains opposed to the tax, saying he would veto it if the measure passed. Manitowoc is one of only seven counties in Wisconsin without the half percent tax in place.