Half-percent sales tax charged by city’s ‘tourism-related retailers’
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
The half-percent “Premier Resort Area Tax” that took effect Jan. 1 in Rhinelander has generated $83,222.01 in first-quarter revenue for the city, Mayor Dick Johns announced Wednesday in a press release.
The tax, which received overwhelming support by Rhinelander voters in an April 2016 referendum and subsequently was enacted by the City Council, was set up in the city to help pay for infrastructure expenses such as fixing roads. The additional half-percent tax commonly known as “PRAT,” which is charged in the city by “tourism-related retailers,” brings the total sales tax in Rhinelander to 6 percent.
In the city’s 2017 budget, an estimated $400,000 has been projected in annual PRAT revenue. The City Council and its committees have been looking at using the additional PRAT money to fund road repairs in Rhinelander for which revenue previously wasn’t available.
Johns said the tax benefits the city by charging individuals an additional half percent when shopping in Rhinelander, where the population is slightly less than 8,000 and more than 20,000 individuals come into the city on a daily basis.