Wisconsin: Car Rental Taxes “Too Inconsistent” Compared to Sales Tax

Despite a 30-percent decline in Wisconsin’s car-rental business compared to the same time a year ago, regional planners in the southeastern part of the state may place an $18 tax on car rentals to pay for the Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter rail line, according to The Daily Reporter.

Members of the Wisconsin Car Rental Alliance are worried about the tax, which is on the agenda for the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Transit Authority’s Friday meeting, said Alliance spokesman Brian Mitchell.

A $2 fee on car rentals was in effect in three Wisconsin counties between October 2006 and September. The state Legislature, in the 2009-11 budget, gave the RTA authority to reinstitute the tax to as high as $18 per rental. The RTA on Friday will consider reviving the tax and setting the amount.

The newspaper reported that the car-rental tax is a temporary fix to keep planning on track as local governments look for permanent methods to pay for transit.

But Chris Larson, Milwaukee County Board supervisor, said that the car rental fee is not a good idea - even as a temporary solution - because the fees are too inconsistent compared with a more steady sales tax.

In addition, if the KRM gets more vehicles off the roads, the car-rental fee would take in less money to support the rail system, Larson pointed out. He added that a sales tax or even a payroll tax might be a better option.

According to the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, a $12.50 tax per rental could raise $5 million. A $4.50 tax per rental could pay for engineering for the estimated $207.5 million KRM project, a full-time transit authority executive director and a full-time engineering staff.

 

Comment On This Story

Name:  
Email:  
Comment: (Max. 10000 characters)  
Please leave blank:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.

 
 

Newsletter: Sign up to receive latest news, articles, and much more.

Read the latest

Auto Focus Blog: A blog covering fleets, auto rental and the business of cars

What a Connected Fleet Means to Avis (and Car Rental)

Counter bypass is just the beginning. The promise of a “data-driven ecosystem” that connects renters with the rental agency, retail services, and even the city is a better managed fleet, an improved user experience, and new revenue opportunities during the rental itself.

Should Peer-to-Peer Renters Pay Airport Car Rental Fees?

The question is central to the City of San Francisco’s lawsuit against Turo for operating without a permit at San Francisco International Airport.

Hard Times Ahead for the Compact SUV Segment?

The hottest segment today is facing a glut of models and volume in tomorrow’s wholesale market.

Job Finder: Access Top Talent. Fill Key Positions.

>