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City administrator wants special resort tax for Rhinelander

RHINELANDER, WI (WTAQ) - Rhinelander might try to become the fifth Wisconsin place to be labeled as a "Premier Resort Area," and have its own special tax for it.

City Administrator Blaine Oborn says he'll ask his aldermen for approval to seek the designation.

The resort tax could only be used for things like streets, sewers, and other infrastructure. Oborn said it could bring in up to $800,000 a year.

The state considers nearby Eagle River to be a resort area, with a half-percent sales tax -- and Oborn says it makes sense for his community to also have the designation. He says tourists in surrounding Oneida and Vilas counties spend as much as folks in Door County -- which, by the way, does not have any premier resort designations.

The only other such areas in the state are Bayfield, with a half-percent tax -- and Wisconsin Dells and adjoining Lake Delton, both of which are raising their resort taxes to 1.25 percent on July 1st.

Oborn says Rhinelander is in greater need of the revenue, because its population doubles during the daytime hours. He says it results in a larger need for things like police services, with a tax base made up of fewer homes than similar places just to the south like Antigo and Merrill.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)