Sup. Deanna Alexander
Press Release

County Board Declines Accountability Vote on Wheel Tax

"It is important that each elected official be asked each budget year to go on the record to vote in favor of authorizing or ending the wheel tax."

By - Nov 2nd, 2017 02:19 pm

MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee County Board today voted on Supervisor Alexander’s proposal that elected policymakers be required to take a separate vote on the Vehicle Registration Fee (VRF), also known as the Wheel Tax, each year it is considered for continuation. Supervisors Alexander, Sebring, and Staskunas provided the only votes supportive of this policy of transparency.

The County Board is currently required each budget season to separately vote to approve the property tax levy billed to area residents; this proposal would have set a similar policy for the Wheel Tax, requiring the board to go on record annually with a vote either reauthorizing or denying continuance of the Wheel Tax.

“I try to be very transparent with the public and my constituents and think that if we are going to tax them, we have a duty to not simply set up a tax with a single vote in 2016 to carry on a tax indefinitely into the future, never to be thought of again. It is important that each elected official be asked each budget year to go on the record to vote in favor of authorizing or ending the wheel tax,” said Supervisor Alexander.

Most surprising were other Supervisors’ comments opposing this common-sense policy.  Objections heard on the record today from the naysayers included:

“This will create a false hope.”

“I’m not comfortable giving people the impression we have the ability to rescind it.”

“I don’t understand why we would vote on this – it’s political grandstanding… The wheel tax is here because… it’s a necessary element. We have to have a wheel tax.”

“Anyone with good political skills doesn’t need that cover – it’s just grandstanding. I don’t want to have this conversation every single year.  It’s not necessary to explain why you voted the way you did.”

Supervisor Alexander said, “This call for an annual reauthorization vote would have helped protect the public from a single vote that perpetuates an indefinite tax, possibly never to be considered for repeal. I am very disappointed that the County Board did not see fit to hold itself accountable in this way.”

Failing passage on a vote of 15-3, the transparency measure, Item 17-591, was opposed by all members of the County Board except for Supervisors Alexander, Sebring, and Staskunas.

Mentioned in This Press Release

Recent Press Releases by Sup. Deanna Alexander

Alexander Secures Funding for Noyes Pool in 2020 Budget, Opposes Tax Increase

"Sadly, this budget is full of wasteful spending, fueled by the largest tax increase in a decade, and I cannot support it."

Alexander, Logsdon, Sebring: Public Should be Allowed to Speak at County Board Meetings

"We should allow the public to share their views."

Supervisor Alexander’s Statement on the 2019 Milwaukee County Budget

"I'm pleased that the 2019 budget process saw less conflict and greater collaboration than in recent years..."

One thought on “County Board Declines Accountability Vote on Wheel Tax”

  1. GRNPAKWH says:

    Supervisor Alexander cannot understand the concept of common good or how democracy works. A tax to repair roads and provide for public transportation is for the common good. Government is funded by taxes, in her eyes all services need to stop and no taxes collected. She operates on the simplistic mindset which has created the problem of low growth in our state. Fortunately we have a large majority of the supervisors who do not fall in line with her static thinking.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us