RACINE COUNTY — If you’re a Racine resident opposed to getting taxed for a Milwaukee basketball arena, a new survey suggests you’re in the majority.
Regionally, 69 percent of people queried in a recent poll from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee said they would oppose a sales tax increase intended to support renovation or replacement of the Bradley Center.
No sales or other tax has formally been proposed regarding the Milwaukee Bucks’ arena, originally built in 1988, but the idea has been floated as one of many possible funding mechanisms.
The UWM poll, released last week, sought opinions on that possibility from 156 registered voters from the seven-county Milwaukee metro region, which includes Racine, Kenosha, Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee, Walworth and Milwaukee counties.
About 68 percent of those opposed to the hypothetical tax increase said they’d reconsider their positions if the project received substantial private investments.
Despite overall opposition to public taxation, 62 percent of people polled said they believe the Bucks arena has a positive regional economic impact; 34 percent said it had no real impact.
Racine County residents currently pay a 0.1 percent sales tax for the Brewers’ Miller Park stadium. Legislators voted to levy that tax in 1995, and its sunset is currently slated between 2017 and 2019. It was originally supposed to last until 2014.
UWM’s Center for Urban Initiatives and Research conducted the poll in cooperation with WisBusiness.com and Milwaukee Public Radio.
The margin of error was 7.9 percent plus/minus, and all of those polled identified themselves as registered voters.