IN THE NEWS
Under Dennis Jordan, the City of Lake Geneva spent beyond its true income. This effort was accomplished by using and transferring city funds into the general fund, and then using the following year’s taxes to cover intergovernmental obligations to those funds. This deception enabled the city to use the State Transportation Fund, Lake Front Fund, Parking Meter Fund, etc. to run the city. Then he used TIF funds and borrowed money to cover infrastructure repairs, road maintenance, and to purchase and replace capital equipment.
With Jordon’s juggling of city funds, he has effectively depleted Lake Geneva’s financial resources, and now with the pending closing of TIF, the city desperately needs to subsidize its revenue to cover their current level of spending. Because the state has restricted limits on property tax increases, the city has to look elsewhere to increase revenue.
So Lake Geneva is currently focused on ever more paid parking and the “Premier Resort Area Sales Tax.” At present Lake Geneva does not meet the forty percent of ‘equalized assessed value’ of the taxable property located in the city, and therefore is not currently eligible to impose that tax.
The City of Lake Geneva wants to petition the State of Wisconsin to amend the law to permit Lake Geneva to impose a local sales tax. Although the exact wording of the proposed amendment has not been revealed, the objective of getting a Premier Tax for the City of Lake Geneva became clear in the Committee of the Whole on June first of this year and is already in motion.
Will the citizens have a say in this issue?
The answer appears to be “yes”.
In order to convince the State to change the Law, those pushing the issue believe that they need to show citizens support for the tax with a citizen approved non-binding referendum. So, unless the city administration abandons their pursuit of the Premier Resort Tax or changes their view on needing citizen approval, there will be a non-binding referendum vote on the issue.
Are the voting residents of the City of Lake Geneva going to vote for a referendum that causes them to pay more taxes on virtually everything they use or buy in Lake Geneva?