Approximately 3,200 eligible Minocqua area voters will be getting a fact sheet from the town in the next few days. 
Contained in the fact sheet is information regarding a Premier Resort Area Tax, or PRAT.
The PRAT was first considered several months ago by members of the town’s broadband and business development committee as a revenue source. 
Once the committee gathered enough information, it received approval from the town board to proceed with plans to present to the public details of a proposed PRAT. 
The fact sheet is one of the ways identified to get that done.  
With a PRAT in place for Minocqua, and in this case expected to generate at least $600,000 annually if not more, costs for construction/repair needs for the town’s 160 miles of roads wouldn’t be levied entirely on property taxpayers. 
Instead, if ultimately approved during a binding referendum Nov. 6, the PRAT would be geared particularly toward tourists who visit the Minocqua area during the summer months and who do things like rent boats and all-terrain vehicles and become a primary revenue source for the town’s road budget each year.
“The PRAT rate would be one half cent on the dollar and would generate revenue from a broad cross section of people using town facilities, not just property owners,” the fact sheet reads. “PRAT helps spread infrastructure costs among all users.”
That half cent tax would be collected by tourist-related businesses. 
Examples of sales not subject to the PRAT would be that of groceries, cars and boats. 
Phil Albert, a member of the committee, said during the course of studying the issue, its worked “all along” extensively with economists at the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
“They’re specialists in terms of projection,” he said. 
One of those economists, Rebecca Haines, will be present to answer questions at two informational meetings scheduled later in September in preparation for the November referendum.
“She’ll do an overview of PRAT — who does it, how it’s done, what the legalities of it are,” Albert said. “There’s plenty of statutory law that authorizes this and the process for it.”
The PRAT needs to be approved by a 2/3 majority of eligible Minocqua voters. 
If they approve it, then it goes to the Wisconsin legislature for approval.
“That’s because we don’t meet the 40 percent equalized value threshold like Lake Delton and Devil’s Lake and all those places,” Albert said. 
The first informational meeting is 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sep. 26 and the second is 10 a.m. the following day, Sept. 27.
Both meetings will be conducted in the third floor board room of the Minocqua Center.  
Brian Jopek may be reached via email at bjopek@lakelandtimes.com.