MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Last night the Board of Supervisors adopted [15-3] the 2023 Milwaukee County Budget. Adopted budget amendments avoided cuts to paratransit service and made substantial investments in the county park system.
“After hearing from paratransit advocates, park lovers, and numerous county residents throughout this process I am proud that the County Board adopted a budget that addresses many of our community’s pressing needs. Our guiding principles of racial equity, preparation, collaboration, sustainability, and decorum helped lead us to adopt a budget that makes investments that advance equitable access to transportation, green spaces, and other crucial services,” said Chairwoman Nicholson. “Each year’s budget process is challenging, but with wins for our most vulnerable residents today, I would call this year’s budget a success. While we celebrate adopting the budget it is important to remember that with stagnant shared revenue from the state and an inability to raise our own revenue at the county level, our future is still uncertain.”
Among the budget amendments adopted Thursday is one authored by Chairwoman Nicholson which restores funding for paratransit taxi service, invests $1.3 million in parks, directs Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) to work with stakeholders on a plan to revive festival bus service, and reduces the tax levy by $125,539.
Another amendment authored by Chairwoman Nicholson directs the county’s Information Management Services Division to include translation services—including multilingual captioning, meeting notices, and agendas—for County Board and committee meetings in its ongoing Digital Transformation Initiative.
Chairwoman Nicholson also authored an amendment directing the Department of Human Resources to explore opportunities to partner with Milwaukee Area Technical College on their Gap Year program, which partners with recent high school graduates and connects them to career pathways in Milwaukee.
Several amendments authored by Chairwoman Nicholson provide enhanced legislative oversight. These include an amendment requiring updates to the County Board on the Department of Human Resources ongoing compensation study as well as the Commission on Youth, which is slated to begin in 2023. The Commission on Youth was reestablished by a resolution authored by Chairwoman Nicholson adopted in June.
While the Board of Supervisors were able to adopt a budget that avoids major service cuts and makes needed investments across Milwaukee County, a fiscal cliff is looming. By 2027, there will be no local dollars for local services without an additional revenue source. To learn more about how to ensure Milwaukee County’s fiscal future, visit www.moveforwardmke.com.
The 2023 Adopted Budget sets the Milwaukee County property tax levy at $312,922,151 which is $125,539 less than what County Executive David Crowley proposed. Expenditures are set at $1,373,900,395.
The Adopted Budget now goes to County Executive Crowley’s desk for approval. If the County Executive issues any vetoes, the Board will convene on Thursday, November 17 at 9:30 a.m.