A 72-County Strategy
It’s no secret that one of the biggest issues facing our county is a lack of financial resources. Even though we are sending close to a half-a-billion dollars more to the State of Wisconsin than we were a decade ago, shared revenue coming back from the state has remained nearly flat. With continued yearly budget shortfalls, it is essential that we be allowed to raise our own revenues to fix the issues we face. Milwaukee problems require Milwaukee solutions; we will work with the state legislature to ensure greater local control is granted as we seek to combat an unprecedented financial situation.
To get this done, we need to have a 72-county strategy. County Executive Crowley is working to build a strong coalition of shared interest with Wisconsin counties and municipalities to increase pressure on the state legislature for local control policies. Milwaukee is the economic driver of our state: what’s good for Milwaukee is good for Wisconsin.
One of the easiest ways we can bring revenue to Milwaukee County is by responding to the census. The U.S. Constitution requires the government to enumerate the number of people living in the United States every 10 years, and that data is used to both determine federal representation and how billions of federal dollars will be allocated for our essential social services and transportation programs. It’s also vitally important to get a summary of who is living in our communities, so we can learn how best to serve them.
As of the end of April, Milwaukee County is lagging behind both the national and state averages of responded households for the 2020 census. That means less dollars for us. The County Executive is making census response a top priority. Ensuring an accurate account of all our residents is essential to maximizing federal funds for the next decade.
Households that have not already responded can do so by mail, online at 2020census.gov, or by phone at (844) 330-2020. You have until October 31, 2020 to respond and ensure you are counted.
Call to Complete
1% Sales Tax Increase
An important component to bringing more resources to Milwaukee County is diversifying our revenue stream. Milwaukee is an outlier nationally, and especially in the Midwest, in how our tax base is set up. State statute has tied the hands of local communities, stripped local control, and forced over-reliance on property taxes and state aide. At the same time, while local municipalities continue to send more tax dollars to the state, we continue to see a decline in state aids coming back. This is unacceptable.
Reliance on this revenue structure is not sustainable. That is why the County Executive fully supports a 1% sales tax increase for Milwaukee County. The revenue that this would generate would diversify our revenue stream, sustain the essential services that Milwaukee County is proud to provide, and allow much needed property tax relief.