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Proposed sales tax increase in Milwaukee Co. up for debate at City Hall

A 1% sales tax increase to fund a new Bucks Arena was up for debate at Milwaukee City hall on Monday morning.

Alderman Bob Bauman introduced the proposal to raise the sales tax in Milwaukee County, and brought it up during the Judiciary and Legislation committee hearing at Milwaukee's City Hall to start the conversation.

\"85% of the revenue from the sales tax would go to Parks and Transit and about 15% would go to the arena,\" said Ald. Bauman.

The current sales tax in Milwaukee County is 5.5%, meaning if the plan is approved by the State Legislature, it would go up to 6.6%.

\"Oklahoma City did a dedicated sales tax, approved through referendum, to build a brand new arena for the Oklahoma City Thunder... so if it passed in Oklahoma City, it can pass in milwaukee\" said Bauman.

During the hearing at City Hall, members of the committee heard from Phillip Blank, a concerned citizen who wanted to voice his concerns of the plan.

\"I believe it is too soon, \" Blank said. \"Lets look at some possible negative outcome before making rash judgements.\"

Alderman Bauman commended Blank for giving his opinion, saying it was the first time any citizen had publicly addressed the plan.

The committee put the resolution on hold Monday because there were not enough members present to take a vote. If it passes, it will then proceed to the full common council for approval. Any tax increase would have to be approved by the State Legislature.

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