Local Food and Beverage Tax Rate Increase and Changes In Items Subject To Tax

Local Food & Beverage Tax Rate Increase

Effective July 1, 2010, the 0.25% local food and beverage tax will be increased to 0.5%. This increase is a result of the Wisconsin Center District exercising its authority to increase the rate, as provided in sec. 77.981, Wis. Stats., (2007-08), as amended effective October 1, 2009 by 2009 Wis. Act 2.

Change in Items Subject to Local Food and Beverage Tax

Effective October 1, 2009, the local food and beverage tax applies to sales of candy,* soft drinks,* and prepared food* that take place in Milwaukee County.

Prior to October 1, 2009, the local food and beverage tax applied to the following sales that took place in Milwaukee County:

  1. The sale of meals, food, food products, and beverages sold for direct consumption on the seller's premises, and
  2. The sale of the following items for off-premises consumption (including sales from vending machines):
    1. Meals and sandwiches, whether heated or not;
    2. Heated food or heated beverages;
    3. Soda fountain items such as sundaes, milk shakes, malts, ice cream cones, and sodas; and
    4. Candy, chewing gum, lozenges, popcorn, and confections.

*The definitions of "candy," "soft drink," and "prepared food" are provided in sec. Tax 11.51(3)(a), (3)(d), and (4), Wis. Adm. Code, as amended by EmR0924, respectively. Please see pages 103 -107 of this Emergency Rule, which is available at www.revenue.wi.gov/sstp/ch11emerrule.pdf. When the emergency rule becomes a permanent rule, the rule, in its entirety, will be available from the Wisconsin State Legislature's website at http://www.legis.wi.gov/.

The following examples illustrate some of the changes that were effective on October 1, 2009 (this list is not all-inclusive). For purposes of the following examples, the retailers' sales of "prepared foods" at the establishment are not greater than 75% of its total sales of all food and food ingredients at the establishment and, unless indicated, the retailer does not physically give or hand utensils to its customers.

Publication 410, Local Exposition Taxes, is currently being revised. Please continue to check the Department of Revenue's website for this revised publication: www.revenue.wi.gov/html/taxpubs.html#sales.

Page last updated February 11, 2010