Board of Supervisors Calls for Fair Deal to Avert County Funding Crisis
"Milwaukee County is facing a serious funding crisis."
MILWAUKEE – The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously (18-0) today to endorse an outline of potential solutions to avert a funding crisis facing Milwaukee County.
“Milwaukee County is facing a serious funding crisis. We need a new partnership with state leaders on solutions that are good for the county and the state. We all have a shared interest in solving this problem,” said County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr.
Supervisors adopted a resolution from the Fair Deal for Milwaukee County Workgroup that outlines several areas for possible action by the State Legislature.
The workgroup studied the impact of a rapidly growing imbalance between necessary expenditures and the ability to generate sufficient revenue.
The recommendations include:
- Allowing Milwaukee County local control to generate new revenue and reduce the current reliance on property taxes through a binding referendum process;
- Increased, fair contributions from the state toward the provision of current and any new state-mandated services;
- Fully reimbursing the County for the cost of patrolling state highways (Milwaukee County is the only Wisconsin county required by state law to patrol state highways);
- Equally sharing Circuit Court and Register of Deeds fees collected by the County (currently 80% goes to the state and 20% remains with the County);
- Adjusting state Shared Revenue payments and other state aids to align with any inflationary increases in the cost of adequately providing public programs and services;
- Accepting federal dollars to expand BadgerCare statewide, which would reduce the cost of private health insurance borne by the County;
- Adequately funding any youth justice facilities located in the County;
- Rejecting any reduction in existing funding below amounts received in the 2019 Adopted Budget;
Chairman Lipscomb and County Executive Abele signed the resolution immediately upon adoption by the Board of Supervisors.
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Lipscomb's amendment places $1.5 million in an allocated contingency account to provide funds if the electronic monitoring initiative fails to achieve the desired amount of HOC dorm closures and savings.