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Budget Would Spend Less than Abele, Eliminate Wheel Tax Increase
MILWAUKEE – The Finance Committee of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors completed its work to amend the County Executive’s 2018 budget proposal today, sending its version of the budget to the full Board for final adoption on Monday, November 6, at 9:30AM.
Today the Finance Committee produced a better budget than what the County Executive proposed. Finance Chairwoman Peggy West did an excellent job facilitating a difficult process, and delivered to the County Board a responsible, balanced budget that avoids an increase in the wheel tax and preserves services for our citizens,” said Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr.
County Executive Abele gave the Finance Committee a budget that was out of balance and built on an assumption that we would double the wheel tax – a proposal that voters rejected. Supervisors listened to the people of Milwaukee County, who said “No” to the wheel tax increase, and crafted a responsible budget that spends millions less than Abele, borrows less, uses less of the county’s savings, and taxes homeowners less than Abele proposed,” said Supervisor West.
With its action today, the Finance Committee recommended that the County Board adopt a budget that includes several amendments to the County Executive’s proposal. Notable among them is an amendment from County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr., which eliminates the need for County Executive Chris Abele’s $60 wheel tax proposal.
Lipscomb’s proposed budget amendment finds savings from a variety of methods, including an across the board reduction in departmental budgets of .75% (or 3/4 of 1%), for a savings of $3.75 million, a rejection of about half of Abele’s request for new positions, saving over $1 million, and by reprioritizing other capital expenditures, including not approving certain projects that the County’s Capital Improvement Committee did not recommend.
The budget recommended by the Finance Committee calls for a property tax levy of $292,880,829, which is $1,135,051 less than what County Executive Abele proposed, for a total expenditure of $1,148,961,486, or $16,372,631 less than what the County Executive proposed.
Supervisors will have an opportunity to consider all amendments submitted to the Finance Committee when they take up the budget for final adoption on November 6.