MOUNT PLEASANT — Juliet Primuth, who was known as Juliet Edmands when she served as the village clerk treasurer for the Village of Mount Pleasant, is now involved in the lawsuit between the village and Real Racine.
The ongoing lawsuit between Mount Pleasant’s Tourism Commission and Real Racine, the county’s tourism entity, is over room taxes and how they’re spent.
In March, The Journal Times looked over the legal battle so far: The Tourism Commission believes it has a right to spend room tax funds, and Real Racine believes it is the only tourism entity currently able to use these funds under state law.
Primuth has been a resident of Mount Pleasant since 1995 and served as treasurer for the village from 2000 until 2011, when she was surprised to be voted out by the village board. The new lawsuit lists her as an intervenor, or a third party, according to court documents reviewed by The Journal Times.
According to the court documents, Primuth believes Real Racine’s position is incorrect because it is “grounded on an unconstitutional statute,” i.e. the Wisconsin statute outlining what is considered a “tourism entity” that can receive the funds.
The statute outlines that a tourism entity is a nonprofit organization that came into existence before January 1, 2015, and spends at least 51% of its revenues on tourism promotion and development.
Primuth meets the requirements to intervene in the lawsuit, which includes having an interest in the matter; as the court document puts it: “an interest relating to the property or transaction which is the subject of the action...
“As a taxpayer and resident of the Village, Ms. Primuth has an interest in the benefits to the Village from increased tourism which stem from utilizing tax revenues.”
Primuth also is urging the participation of the state’s Department of Revenue and its secretary, Peter Barca, a lifelong Kenosha County resident who previously represented Racine County in Congress. According to the court documents, the DOR and Barca “should be mandatorily joined in this lawsuit” under the statute.
The law firm representing Primuth, Fuchs & Boyle, SC, has not commented publicly on the case. Rebecca D. Boyle said John F. Fuchs is currently out of state for a few weeks.
Mount Pleasant’s Tourism Commission went into closed session Monday to “discuss legal strategy with the Village Attorney pertaining to the pending lawsuit.”