(Sent as an open letter to the Ripon Common Council) After reading what was published in the Jan. 3rd edition of the Ripon Commonwealth (“Supervisors shouldn’t have created county sales tax) related to the Fond du Lac County .5-percent sales tax, I felt I needed to provide some clarification on some of those issues.

     First, when the sales tax was originally adopted in 2009, it was adopted without a sunset. I, and a majority of the board, felt that placing a sunset was a promise we weren’t sure we could keep and we did not want to mislead the public. Sometime later, a few supervisors decided to introduce a resolution providing for a sunset in December 2021.

     Second, the city of Ripon has directly benefited from the Fond du Lac County sales tax in that the county provided $310,000 to the city of Ripon in order to pay the taxes on the downtown Boca Grande tax delinquent properties on the west side of the street. Those funds will not have to be repaid by the city of Ripon. As a result, the city has been provided an opportunity to redevelop those properties.

     Third, Alliance Laundry received loans and incentives to do several expansions at their plant in Ripon including building a new world headquarters and a new distribution center. The initial loan of $500,000 was forgiven, and since 2016 there have been annual credits for the employment levels maintained by Alliance and applied against the payments for the $6,000,000 loan. Those investments have added to the tax base and created jobs for people in the Ripon area.

     Since we began receiving sales tax funds in 2010, it has been our intention not only to incentivize economic expansion, which since 2009 has been over $1,000,000,000 of private, capital investment, retained over 1,800 jobs and created over 3,000 new jobs. ...

— Allen Buechel
Fond du Lac County executive
Fond du Lac

     To read the entire letter, see the Jan. 10, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.