Milwaukee mayor trades barbs with suburban county executive over sales taxes: ‘Go to Cracker Barrel’

The mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, traded barbs with a conservative county executive over the sales tax rates in their areas. Since the beginning of the year, Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson and Washington County executive Josh Schoemann have tossed gibes back and forth after Schoemann invited city residents shop in his district to avoid the new taxes. “I warmly welcome all of our Milwaukee County neighbors to Washington County to shop, dine [and] keep more of your money while doing it,” Schoemann wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on December 29. WISCONSIN GOV. EVERS TO CONSIDER MEDICAL MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION PROPOSAL BY REPUBLICANS Schoemann also encouraged people online to visit “Washington County for the savings, stay for the quality of life!” “Exhibit A: In the City of Milwaukee, today you will pay an additional $60 for this bedroom set,” he wrote on January 1, linking out to an Ashley Furniture webpage. On January 2, Johnson responded to Schoemann, telling local press he thought the executive’s comments “were unfortunate, knowing that all communities need revenue.” “If folks are looking at a high-quality dinner or a theater or a fine dining experience, they can come here, or go to Cracker Barrel there,” Johnson said. “[Washington County residents] are getting a boost as this is retaining the Brewers, and it helps a lot of people,” Johnson continued. “[Schoemann] is encouraging people to go to their county; folks will pay more in gas than simply staying [in Milwaukee.]” In response, Schoemann told Fox News Digital that the “working people like those who enjoy Cracker Barrel are the same people that get hit the hardest by higher taxes.” “The Milwaukee Mayor can keep his ‘fine dining,’ I’ll stick with the folks who visit places like Cracker Barrel,” Schoemann said.  Johnson’s communications director Jeff Fleming told Fox News Digital: “Perhaps Mr. Schoemann ought to review the Mayor’s comments; no one here has suggested the people of Washington County are deplorable.” “In fact, a small portion of the City of Milwaukee is located in Washington County,” Fleming said. “It is odd that a county executive would cast such aspersions on his own constituents.” “Mr. Schoemann has created a false narrative to escalate this interaction,” he added. “It’s time to drop it.” A pair of new sales taxes took effect on January 1 in the city and county of Milwaukee. The city added a two percent sales tax to their existing sales taxes while the county increased its sales tax from 0.5 percent to 0.9 percent. Now, Milwaukee city residents are paying 7.9 percent sales tax and those in the county, but not the city of Milwaukee, are paying 5.9 percent sales tax. Wisconsin also has a statewide sales tax of 5 percent. Fox News Digital reached out to Cracker Barrel’s reporter hotline for comment.
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