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  • Writer's pictureWCMP

Pine County Extends Sales Tax

Last month, the Pine County Board continued its half-cent sales tax to help maintain county roads.

The original tax was put in place in January of 2017 with a shelf life of 10 years or until it collected $8,450,000.

Money collected through the sales tax is earmarked for road construction projects on Pine County roadways that don't receive state aid, county roads marked with three-digit numbers.

The county decided to share the burden of maintaining county roads between residents and those who drive through Pine County to shop at local businesses or go on vacation.

"If you look at the license plates on the cars in front of a major business in Pine County, you'll see a lot of Wisconsin plates, or maybe you know people from other parts of the state," County Board Chair Steve Hallan told WCMP. "They are driving on our roads to get to their cabin or to shop at Walmart. They can help pay for them too."

Hallan said the county's economy has been doing better than they initially thought. When the sales tax was first instated, Hallan said they expected to collect $700,000 or $800,000 a year. Instead, the county has been receiving closer to $1.2 million in revenue annually from the tax and getting close to collecting the maximum.

The Pine County Board approved extending the sales tax during an August 17 meeting. The half-cent tax will now run until they collect $17,400,000 or until December 31, 2035.

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