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GOVERNOR'S AIDE SAYS BREWERS STADIUM PLAN FAR FROM FINISHED
Published January 26, 1995
WI Governor Tommy Thompson's top aide says a "myriad of questions and complications remain" in the search for a way to pay for a new $223M stadium for the Brewers. These statements come on the eve of today's final meeting of the Milwaukee Stadium Commission, where a recommendation for a plan is expected to be submitted to Thompson. James Klauser, head of the state Department of Administration: "I am sure we'll find a way, but we have a lot of foundation work to do. Everybody will point the finger [at the state] and say 'You do it.' This has got to be a collaborative effort. The city and county have to participate as well." A report in yesterday afternoon's MILWAUKEE JOURNAL says the committee "may simply recommend a series of potential sources of public funds." It is estimated the state will need $18-$25M a year for the next 20 years to fund the project. Among the possibilities: a sports lottery that would be expected to provide from five to $15M a year and a regional sales tax for Milwaukee County and the surrounding counties. The sales tax option has "little political support and hostile opposition." Tuesday night in Racine County, just south of Milwaukee, the county board voted 24-2 against raising the county sales tax to finance a ballpark project. Milwaukee County official William Drew proposed the regional sales tax idea last week: "I'm still waiting for the first supporter to call me and say, 'Great idea.' Raising taxes is not a very politically popular type of thing to do" (Craig Gilbert, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL, 1/25).