RACINE COUNTY — Two Racine-area legislators are circulating a bill creating more oversight and restrictions for the Miller Park taxing district, though how much impact it will have remains to be seen. Under a draft proposal from state Rep. Thomas Weatherston, R-Caledonia, and state Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District would have new limits on how it could issue bonds and spend revenue. The bill dictates the stadium district must spend at least 75 percent of its revenue on paying off debt and sets restrictions on how it can refinance its bonds, according to a memo to legislators. It also gives the Legislative Fiscal Bureau the authority to determine when the district has enough money to end the tax, rather than the district. In addition, any project at the stadium that costs more than $500,000 would need approval of the state Building Commission, the memo states. Mike Duckett, executive director of the Miller Park district, was unavailable for comment Wednesday. However, he previously doubted the proposal would accomplish much because, he said, the district already does many of the things outlined in the bill. For example, he said the district does not refinance loans if it adds to the debt, which the bill prohibits. District officials also say 95 percent of sales tax revenue is dedicated to retiring the debt – more than the 75 percent requirement in the bill. Weatherston, who has also requested an audit of the district, believes the district spends too much money on maintenance and upgrades to the stadium. Many items, like a new center-field scoreboard in 2011, shouldn’t be paid for with district funds, he said. “The goal (of the bill) is to pay down their debt and to stop spending money frivolously,” said Weatherston. A 0.1 percent sales tax is collected in Racine and four other counties to pay off debt incurred to construct Miller Park. The debt is now projected to be retired between 2018 and 2020, after the original projection had the tax ending in 2014. As of Dec. 31, the district has $195 million in outstanding obligations, down from $524 million when the stadium opened in 2001. Source.