Michael Mayo
Press Release

County Executive Abele Breaks Commitment to Not Increase Taxes

Proposed wheel tax is an 80% increase for suburbs, 63% increase for city

By - Sep 29th, 2016 06:35 pm

MILWAUKEE – County Executive Chris Abele proposed a $60 wheel tax on Thursday, breaking a frequently stated commitment to not raising taxes on County residents.

Abele’s tax increase would have the greatest impact low-income City of Milwaukee residents who already pay a $20 vehicle registration fee, plus a $75 vehicle registration fee to the state.

Supervisor Michael Mayo, Chair of the Transportation Committee, released the following statement.

“Abele campaigned hard in his last election on the principal of not raising taxes. Now he’s raising taxes. You can call it a “vehicle registration fee,” whatever you want to call it, it’s a tax.

“A new $60 wheel tax would be 63% increase for city residents over what they pay now, and an 80% increase for suburban County residents, and of course, this would impact our poorest residents the hardest.

“If he wants to get the Board’s support for his tax increase, he could have brought this to us before announcing it to the public. Traditionally, County Executives – even Scott Walker – brought their budget to the Board at our September meeting, but the public will see Abele’s budget before the Board will. This is not a good way to start the budget process.

“Abele wants it both ways. On the one hand he claims that getting the legislature to authorize an increase in the sales tax is not possible, so that’s not a revenue option. But on the other hand, he says in his statement today that he wants the legislature to change state law so he can index the wheel tax based on the value of the vehicle.”

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