County Executive David Crowley
Press Release

Milwaukee County Facing $450M Total Budget Impact from COVID-19

County Executive Calls on State, Federal Officials for Support

By - May 14th, 2020 05:58 pm

MILWAUKEE (May 14, 2020) Today, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley issued the following statement calling on State and Federal officials to support funding for Milwaukee County’s response to COVID-19, which has disproportionately impacted Milwaukee County residents:

“Milwaukee County and its employees are on the front lines of our community’s response to COVID-19, providing the critical emergency management and direct services, which are essential in a crisis, to all 19 Milwaukee County municipalities, and their residents.

The costs of providing critical services related to the COVID-19 pandemic are staggering and intensified by the economic slowdown, causing significant strain on an already strapped County budget. In total, Milwaukee County could face a $450 million impact on its budget through new costs and lost revenue.

As a result, the County’s existing structural deficit will grow, leading to drastic impacts on both the County’s immediate ability to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and its ongoing ability to provide the services County residents have come to rely on. We are calling on our State and Federal officials to support Milwaukee County with the resources we need to do what we do best − serve County residents.”


Milwaukee County has been on the frontlines of the response to COVID-19, providing critical emergency management, public health and human services, and infrastructure for all 19 of its municipalities − and the nearly 1 million people it serves − including: aging services for the elderly, emergency medical services, behavioral health services, housing resources and public safety.  These are the services that are necessary to respond and protect residents during a crisis.

The County has already seen an estimated $450 million impact on the budget, including through direct costs in COVID-19 related response and lost revenue.


The demand for services is skyrocketing, while our ability to pay for them plummets.

  • $40 million in direct costs.

○      PPE, overtime, Unified Emergency Operations Center, Telework, Temporary Morgue, Cleaning and Sanitation, Temporary Homeless Shelter, etc.

  • $100 million lost revenues by end of 2020.

○      Sales tax, property taxes, program revenues (zoo, parks), airport, and transit.

  • $450 million in overall costs.

○      Includes recovery and reopening

  • $60 million in cost savings and cuts.

○      774 Furloughs, hiring and contract freezes, leverage contingency fund, debt service fund, and significantly reduced or eliminated capital projects.

This is unsustainable. Further cuts to essential services and emergency response capabilities impacts our ability to respond to the crisis.

County Executive David Crowley and his team are working with state and federal officials to request additional resources that can be used to support our ability to do what it does best – serve the residents of Milwaukee County.

Mentioned in This Press Release

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