MILWAUKEE – WTMJ has confirmed changes to the Brewers stadium funding bill that will come up for a vote in the Assembly on Tuesday, October 17. Representative Rob Brooks, the author of the bill, told WTMJ that those changes involve the local financial contribution to the $600 million plan.
“We’re able to keep the Brewers and not impact their [tax] levy at all with the changes we’ve given them,” Brooks said.
The contribution will be reduced from $202 million to $135 million, a decrease of $67 million. Half of the remaining contribution will be paid by the city and half by the county for a total of $67.5 million dollars each over the life of the plan, which will be paid yearly in installments.
“Its a pretty sizable decrease, and then we were able to give them some flexibility and reduce some fees,” Brooks said.
Those fees are charged by the Department of Revenue on the collection of sales tax, which will be reduced from 1.75% to 0.75%. Both Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson and Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley have released statements in support of the agreement.
Brooks also confirmed that these will be the only changes applied to the Assembly’s version of the bill ahead of the Tuesday vote. The bill will not include any changes to the makeup of the ballpark district board, which had been a concern for both the county executive and the mayor.
“It still has to go through the Senate. That could come up, that could change,” Brooks said.
As it stands, the city and county will lose representation on the board under the new plan. Brooks said he expects a non-Brewers ticket tax and an audit of the Stadium District finances to be amendments proposed in the Senate.
“Coming to an agreement where we have support from not only the mayor and the county exec and the governor at this point, and I think we’ll pretty bipartisan support on the floor next Tuesday,” Brooks said.
Brooks is hoping to have at least half of the Democratic caucus voting in favor when the final count is tallied.
“Everybody had a common goal to keep the Brewers and we all wanted to do it without affecting any services in the state or put in jeopardy any tax reductions and we were able to do that by being innovative, looking outside the box and really working together as a team, so I’m pretty proud of that,” Brooks said.