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There are four words to keep in mind the next 11 months.

No, not “Make America Great Again.”

Nor “Have a nice day” nor “Want fries with that?” Not “I am not kidding” nor “Your fly is open” Not “May I help you?” nor “You’re not much help”. Not “You bet your life” nor “Joe Biden did what?” Not “Order Easter lilies now” nor “Lilies of the Field.” Not “I’m calling a plumber” and definitely not “One call, that’s all.” Not “How about those Brewers?” nor “How about another beer?” (Oh, wait, that sounds good).

The four words facing us are “barring severe unforeseen circumstances.”

They were uttered in a recent Journal Times story about the possible end of a 0.1 percent sales tax for a baseball park in Milwaukee County which Racine County residents have been paying since before Hannibal crossed the Alps. The story quoted Don Smiley, former Racine resident who is chairman of the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District. Smiley said, “Barring severe unforeseeable circumstances” the tax may end in March, 2020.

You may have noted there was no dancing in the streets in any Racine County community when that story ran. Probably because most county residents thought, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Oh, the story sounded as if there were hope. Authorities said enough money is on hand to pay for planned upgrading at Miller Park — some day to be named Foxconn Stadium — including work on the retractable roof and scoreboard.

Yet, some people wouldn’t be surprised if in January someone up there will say something such as:

“We have decided to replace the retractable roof with a permanent dome and air condition the stadium.”

Or “Miller Park has existed since 2001. That’s going on 20 years. It’s time to replace this antiquated structure with a state of the art stadium including heated and air conditioned seats.”

If, perchance, the stadium people say there is no more need for the tax, don’t start planning how to spend the money you would save. The County Board might say, “People have been accustomed to paying the tax. Let’s keep it so we can pay for more roads and infrastructure for Foxconn.”

On the other hand, if the tax is repealed, you can use that money to buy a couple of hot dogs at a Milwaukee Brewers game — barring severe unforeseen circumstances, such as the Brewers raising the price of hot dogs to offset the loss of revenue from the repeal of the 0.1 percent sales tax.

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Emmert Dose may be reached by writing to him at The Journal Times, 212 Fourth St., Racine, WI 53404 or emailing


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