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Republicans announce funding bill to keep Brewers in Wisconsin

Republicans announce funding bill to keep Brewers in Wisconsin

Officials for the the city and county of Milwaukee have publicly rejected using local tax dollars on renovating the ballpark.

September 18, 2023 1:02 PM CDT

By: Nate Wegehaupt

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Civic Media) – Republican lawmakers have released their plan to keep the Milwaukee Brewers in Wisconsin. 

Under the bill, the state would contribute $400 million throughout the life of the lease, Milwaukee County would contribute $200 million, and the Brewers would pay $100 million. They would then be locked into playing in American Family Field until 2050.

The bill’s Republican authors said that, under the plan, there would be no raised taxes to keep the Brewers in Wisconsin. 

The money would go toward repairs and renovations for the ballpark. The money would also go to winterizing the park to hold events during the winter months. American Family Field has been open since 2001, when it replaced the aging County Stadium.

Most of the state’s contribution to the ballpark would come from income taxes of players. Republicans estimate that the ballpark generates around $20 million annually in income taxes from both the Brewers and visiting teams. 

Democrats say that, while they are happy that the Brewers will stay in Milwaukee, too much of the burden is being placed on the city and county of Milwaukee. While the state sits on a surplus of around $4 billion, Milwaukee county is struggling financially. 

Officials for both the city and county of Milwaukee have publicly criticized increased local funding for the stadium.

Earlier this year, Governor Tony Evers released his own plan to keep the Brewers in Wisconsin, using part of the state’s budget surplus. That proposal was dismissed by legislative Republicans. Evers released a statement saying that his plan would have saved taxpayers down the line, and looks forward to reviewing the new Republican plan.

The bill is being introduced today, and will need to be passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Tony Evers before the deal is set. 

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