LAFAYETTE COUNTY (WKOW) — Lafayette County officials and local government leaders announced that a budget shortfall prompted county officials to impose taxes on EMS services that most county residents do not use. We are preparing for a legal battle.
At least six towns, villages and other small communities in Lafayette County have banded together to protest taxes imposed by county officials that many say were done without warning or consent.
The debate began after county officials established the county’s EMS service. This service served only a small community in the Darlington area (approximately 20% of the county’s population). The plan, which was passed by county commissions in 2021, originally said the communities being served would pay for the services.
But county officials said when the new EMS service exceeded the budget by more than $200,000, all The majority of taxpayers did not use county services and used their own EMS, but we recruited taxpayers to cover the additional funding.
The village of Blanchardville — a community of just under 800 people — was taxed $7,000 without warning.
Blanchardville Village President Nick Crooks said, “These are services we never asked for and we may not be able to use because we haven’t paid for them.” will be sentenced to death for the service of
Wiota, Benton, Wayne, Cuba City, South Wayne, Hazel Green and Shullsburg fraudsters and leaders are now petitioning the Wisconsin Department of Revenue for a ruling on the matter. They claim they are already taxed for county services they provide on a local scale.
But county officials like Board Chairman Jack Sauer see the issue differently.
Sauer maintains that what the county did was perfectly legal and justified.
“I think it’s been good business for us,” Sauer said. “Will it be growing pains? Yes. Have we taxed people who don’t use it? Yes. There are a lot of people in this county who are taxed on a lot of things they don’t use.” Yes, but that’s how the system works.”
Sauer added that he and other board members plan to expand the county’s EMS service to other areas of the county in the near future, but that will take time.
The smaller communities that pay for the two EMS services have other ideas and have already secured an attorney and have filed a billing notice with the county pending the Department of Revenue’s decision. I’m here.
Crooks says he hopes the county can sit down with him to discuss how to move forward and get voters back their money, but even he admits that’s unlikely to happen.
“We all live in the same county, and that doesn’t deserve the actions they’ve taken,” Crooks said. , is not working.”