Miller Park Tax Projected to End in March 2020

Miller Park tax district officials are hedging that the 0.1 percent sales tax won’t go into extra innings and expect to end the controversial revenue source in March 2020.

Every year for more than two decades, the board members of the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District have been receiving updates on where the district is in the process of retiring the tax. On Tuesday, the district board met to map out what is hoped to be the final year of the tax, which funded construction of Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers. The stadium opened in 2001.

David Anderson, director of PFM Financial Advisors, said assuming no dramatic decline in sales tax receipts, the district will have accumulated sufficient funds in late 2019 or early 2020 to begin the sales tax retirement process.

“This is finally the time to be saying ‘Yes, it’s closing down,’” Anderson said. “As we’ve gotten closer and closer (to the end), the number of variables have just been reduced or eliminated. Right now the only variable that could impact anything is the collection of sales tax.”

Don Smiley, chairman of the district board, said that after March 2020 the district will have placed enough funds in escrow accounts to meet its future contractual obligations.

“Baring severe unforeseen circumstances, all indications are that the district will be in a position to certify the end the 0.1 percent Miller Park sales tax at its meeting of March of 2020,” said Smiley, a Racine native who also is president and chief executive officer of Summerfest and a former president of the Florida Marlins, a Brewers rival in the National League.