County sales tax revenue on pace to set record

Proceeds used to offset levy could hit $8.5 million
Ozaukee Press staff

Ozaukee County sales tax collections are on pace to be the highest ever, and could end up a quarter million dollars or more higher than projections, according to figures released last week.

Collections through October 2018 totaled more than $7 million. 

“We are on pace to exceed last year’s collections, which would be more than we have collected before,” county Finance Director Jay McMahon said. “We expect to receive between $8.4 and $8.5 million for 2018 when the final two months are received.”

In 2017, the county collected less than $8.14 million, records show.

Sales collections lag two months behind the actual sales month, so that October sales are received by the county in December and  November’s sales taxes are collected in January. Year-end totals won’t be known until February.

Total collections for 2018 are currently at $8.44 million with January and February collections pertaining to 2017 and recorded as revenue in 2017.  

Next year’s collection will get another boost as recent court rulings now allow states to collect sales tax on sales from businesses that only operate out of state, McMahon said. Previously, online sales taxes could only be collected from companies that have operations in Wisconsin.

The county collects a half penny in sales tax on every dollar spent in the county. The county receives 97.75% of those sales tax dollars with the state getting 1.75% and retailers receiving 0.5%.

County Administrator Jason Dzwinel said it’s difficult to project sales tax revenues and that budget makers approach those revenues conservatively. 

The sales tax is used to directly reduce property taxes on homeowners, he pointed out.

“It is one of the benefits of the sales tax to the taxpayer (that) spending by non-Ozaukee residents offsets the taxes on their homes and businesses,” he said. 



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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