Tax will pay for Mercury loans in Wisconsin

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A half-cent county sales tax – imposed this year for the first time in Fond du Lac (Wis.) County history – is generating enough funds to pay back loans for Mercury Marine and to hold off new county debt.

The tax was implemented after the county provided a $50 million economic assistance loan to Mercury Marine as part of the package that kept the marine engine manufacturer in the state. Proceeds from the county sales tax are being used to pay for the borrowing, the Fond du Lac Reporter newspaper reported.

“We’re feeling very positive that Brunswick (the parent company of Mercury Marine) is honoring their commitments,” Fond du Lac county executive Allen Buechel told the newspaper, referring to such matters as job creation, the transfer of production to Fond du Lac and financial stability. “We think it was worth the [financial] risk taken.”

Buechel and other leaders believe the county sales tax will generate about $6.5 million in revenue a year. The sum is more than is needed to repay the Mercury loan.

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3 comments on “Tax will pay for Mercury loans in Wisconsin

  1. Florida Patriot

    O.K., I am not getting this. The county “loaned” Mercury $50 million dollars and now they are taxing their residents to repay the loan? What part of this does not make sense. Seems as though the old mindset of this country’s Citys, Countys and States are at play here. Continue to spend money that you do not have and then hope everything will get paid for in the end? It’s O.K., let’s just tax the citizens some more and everything will work out. Sometime soon these citys, countys and states are going to have to say enough is enough and just “Say No” to all the spending. Watch as these citys, countys and States start to default in 2011 and beyond. All the jobs they thought they were creating or preserving will pail in comparison to the losses that will come in the aftermath of default. WAKE UP AMERICA. It’s unsustainable!

  2. Marty schott

    That is just the damdest thing that I have ever herd of. One would thing that the residents would be up in arms over this.  What has this country come to?

  3. Grand Man

    The Oklahoma deal was much sweeter, and NO Strings, and NO Union. WOW !!,
    They really sold the residents a Bill of Goods, to bad all the residents have to pay for the good of the company. What about other companies in the area who do not get the incentives or the “Loans” but also contribute the the local economy.
    Mercury is an important employer in the area, and they needed some help to retain a sizable workforce in the community. It would appear that negotiations with the union, and making some cuts would have been better than eliminating an entire non union facility in Okla. Also, they have to face new bargaining in 2012 with the union.
    Two smaller operations would seem more competitive in strategic locations, than one oversized one in the northern part of the country. More expenses for distribution, and harder to maintain a level of cost reductions.
    The management is obviously short sighted and inexperienced in the Marine industry. It is a very unique segment of the leisure industry. Too many managers have come from other industries trying to force policies that are ineffective for this kind of market. The proof is in the results of marketshare for Outboard engines, and Sterndrives.
    Shutting down Boat manufacturing facilities doesn’t increase share, but it does help with expenses. The secret is to keep customers, and grow niche markets and markethare, which they have not done.

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