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Onalaska state rep. Doyle will wait before pushing new PRAT legislation



Fueled by a huge voter approval at the polls this week, the ability of La Crosse County to get state approval for a new, special sales tax might have new energy.

Onalaska state rep. Steve Doyle says he won’t rush to reintroduce the so-called Premier Resort Area Tax. (PRAT). Not until it’s more clear what new government in Madison might provide counties for road funding in a new state budget.

“If we think we can get it a different way, that’s certainly better, if the state steps up and meets its obligation,” Doyle said.

County voters last Tuesday approved an advisory referendum on the PRAT by a more than two to one margin. It was the second successful advisory referendum for the measure.

The PRAT is a half-percent sales tax on most good sold in La Crosse County.

Doyle says he’s not opposed to reintroducing state legislation in Madison but there’s no rush for a couple reasons.

“I probably won’t push it,” Doyle said, “and there wouldn’t be any reason to push it until we find out what the budget looks like because really, we don’t pass bills that have financial impacts until after the budget.

“It’s something that will be out there for people to talk about but it’s really not going to be moving quickly just because of the nature of the process in Madison.”

Here’s the 16-page document on what the PRAT is and covers, exactly. Below is a list of of businesses it would affect.

Here’s how it was worded on the ballot:

If the La Crosse County Board finds it necessary to increase local spending on roads and bridges due to insufficient state and federal funds, do you support pursuing the enactment of a Premier Resort Area Tax (PRAT) of 0.5 percent as a sales tax on tourism-related goods and services as defined in state law? This option is estimated to raise $6.6 million per year, of which $1.6 million will be shared with the cities, villages and towns for their transportation needs.

Of the four road-funding questions on the referendum, along with the PRAT getting 68.2 percent of the yes votes, also passing with 78% was a county investment of $5 million a year.  The PRAT  worded the same way — received 55% of the yes vote in a referendum a year and a half ago.

The two questions that failed were increasing short-term borrowing (73.8% no) and enacting a $56 wheel tax (68.4% no).

5311 – Department stores
5331 – Variety stores
5399 – Miscellaneous general merchandise stores
5441 – Candy, nut and confectionery stores
5451 – Dairy product stores
5461 – Retail bakeries
5499 – Miscellaneous food stores
5541 – Gasoline service stations
5611 – Men’s and boys’ clothing and accessory stores
5621 – Women’s clothing stores
5632 – Women’s accessory and specialty stores
5641 – Children’s and infants’ wear stores
5651 – Family clothing stores
5661 – Shoe stores
5699 – Miscellaneous apparel and accessory stores
5812 – Eating places
5813 – Drinking places
5912 – Drug stores and proprietary stores
5921 – Liquor stores
5941 – Sporting goods stores and bicycle shops
5942 – Bookstores
5943 – Stationery stores
5944 – Jewelry stores
5945 – Hobby, toy, and game shops
5946 – Camera and photographic supply stores
5947 – Gift, novelty and souvenir shops
5948 – Luggage and leather goods stores
5949 – Sewing, needlework, and piece goods stores
5992 – Florists
5993 – Tobacco stores and stands
5994 – News dealers and newsstands
5999 – Miscellaneous retail stores
7011 – Hotels and motels
7032 – Sporting and recreational camps
7033 – Recreational vehicle parks and campsites
7922 – Theatrical producers (except motion picture) and miscellaneous theatrical services
7929 – Bands, orchestras, actors, and other entertainers and entertainment groups
7948 – Racing, including track operation
7991 – Physical fitness facilities
7992 – Public golf courses
7993 – Coin-operated amusement devices
7996 – Amusement parks
7997 – Membership sports and recreation clubs
7999 – Amusement and recreational services, not elsewhere classified

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