Could the sales tax that built Miller Park help build the Bucks' new arena?Wisconsin News
-- The sales tax that built the Milwaukee Brewers’ baseball stadium could be extended to build a new arena for the Bucks’ pro basketball team.
MILWAUKEE - The sales tax that built the Milwaukee Brewers’ baseball stadium could be extended to build a new arena for the Bucks’ pro basketball team.
Tim Sheehy, head of the Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce, floated the idea at a civic forum yesterday. The one-tenth-percent sales tax has been levied since the mid-1990’s in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Washington, and Ozaukee counties. It’s supposed to expire in 2016-to-2018, when the borrowing for Miller Park is paid off.
It won’t be an easy proposition to extend it. The state Legislature would have to approve a continuation of the tax for the Bucks’ arena. And lawmakers will tread carefully, after voters recalled Senator George Petak for his deciding vote in favor of the Miller Park tax. Officials of the Bucks and their arena have said for years that the 23-year-old Bradley Center is getting worn – and it cannot generate the rising revenues that other NBA teams get from their newer stadiums. U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, who owns the Bucks, said a new arena would be one of his top priorities once he leaves the Senate at the end of next year.
Sheehy says a group of Milwaukee business leaders are looking at various options to replace the Bradley Center – and to renovate it in the meantime. He mentioned naming rights at entrances, without changing the name of the building itself. Milwaukeeans loudly objected when the idea of selling a corporate name for the Bradley Center was floated a couple years ago. Jane Bradley Pettit donated the arena to keep the Bucks from leaving Milwaukee.