Doug Neilson, president and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee, the city’s tourism bureau, posted some sensible comments on the proposal to increase hotel and car rental taxes to help pay for a new commuter rail line serving Southeastern Wisconsin counties.

Neilson speaks to the fact that these taxes breach the “benefit principle,” which holds that tax burdens should be assigned according to the benefits taxpayers receive.

The danger, Neilson says, is that if these taxes are enacted there would be little room to raise taxes further to support a convention center expansion. This would generate tourism dollars and lead to more car rentals, a direct beneficiary of the tax.

His comments can be found at the Small Business Times’ online edition www.biztimes.com/blogs/.

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