Common Council President Cavalier Johnson
Press Release

Let The City Win, Too!

Statement of Common Council President Cavalier Johnson.

By - Jun 30th, 2021 01:54 pm

Visit Milwaukee recently estimated that each Milwaukee Bucks home playoff game generates approximately $3 million worth of economic impact from lodging, transportation, food & beverage, retail, recreation, and other business services. This is undoubtedly great for the businesses in these sectors, particularly after the last year plus where many of these same businesses were hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, due to the antiquated taxation model that exists in Wisconsin, Bucks wins on the court don’t translate to wins for the City of Milwaukee.

Unlike its peer cities, Milwaukee doesn’t have the ability to generate a local sales tax and capitalize on the roughly $3 million worth of economic impact generated per home playoff game. With seven home playoff games already in the books (and hopefully more to come), that is $21 million of economic impact that benefits the State government and leaves the City standing on the sidelines.

The fact is all the people who come to our great city for these Bucks games use our roads, our water and sewer systems, our police services, and other City amenities, and without the ability to collect a local sales tax, the burden to maintain these services falls squarely on our local property taxpayers.

The unfortunate reality is this problem isn’t new, nor is it exclusive to Milwaukee, as cities across Wisconsin are also seeking remedies to this growing problem. But as municipalities continue to call for additional tools to generate revenue and make local governments whole, all we have received is another tax cut, flat shared revenue payments, and cuts to transit funding.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again – it’s time to change our taxation policies to reflect the current needs we face so we can all benefit.

Bucks in six!

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