FILE - Miller Park Milwaukee

Miller Park, home of Major League Baseball's Milwaukee Brewers

The Miller Park Tax has a drop dead date. Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday signed the law that orders the tax to end on Aug. 31, 2020. 

"Today, I signed a bipartisan bill sunsetting the stadium tax at Miller Park," Evers tweeted on Wednesday. "I look forward to continuing to work with the Brewers, folks in Milwaukee, and the local stakeholders to ensure the Brewers’ success for years to come."

Wisconsin lawmakers approved the penny-per-dollar sales tax for people in the five counties surrounding Milwaukee in 1996 to help build Miller Park as a new home for the Brewers. Since then, taxpayers have paid more than $600 million. 

"Halleujiah! The tax is dead!" Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine said. "This is a great day for taxpayers in southeastern Wisconsin and especially Racine County. As someone who has been working to end the tax for the last 9 years, I’m glad that we now have a date-certain end date for the tax."

Lawmakers have been pushing to end the tax for a while, and local leaders agreed to end the tax sometime in 2020. 

The new law sets an official date in late August. 

"After 24 years and nearly $600 million, taxpayers know that they have paid more than their share to keep baseball in Wisconsin," Wanggaard said. "I’m glad that Gov. Evers and every legislator listened to the taxpayers and agreed."

The law the governor signed makes it clear that that the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball District may not incur any new obligations once the sales and use tax is no longer collected, and that each of the five counties must use any excess collection revenues for property tax relief, public safety, parks and recreation, or economic development. 

Staff Reporter

An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square.