Milwaukee County Supervisors do not care for GOP shared revenue plan, or possible Brewers help
There are more signs of tension over Milwaukee County's potential dire fiscal situation in the next couple of years.
The County's Intergovernmental Relations Committee passed two resolutions Monday. The first one criticizes a Republican state shared revenue plan for the county and city of Milwaukee. The second opposes the idea of using county money to help the Milwaukee Brewers with any long-term renovation of American Family Field.
On shared revenue, GOP lawmakers say the county could keep more money from a higher county sales tax, but only if voters OK the tax hike. The city of Milwaukee and the school district would face other requirements, including putting police officers in MPS schools. County Sup. Felesia Martin's message to Republican lawmakers: the package released last week is too small and demands too much.
"We are already responsible enough. We know how to manage our budgets. We would like for you to remove your knee, off of our neck," Martin said.
But Sup. Patti Logsdon said she supports some of the legislature's potential requirements. "Because if you read through it, they're not that bad. You know, they want to make sure our pension fund is going to be stable," Logsdon said.
But the call for more state revenue with fewer strings attached passed 4-1.
The Intergovernmental Committee then turned to a resolution from Sup. Steve Taylor that said if and when state lawmakers vote on a plan from Gov. Tony Evers (D) to supply the Brewers with almost $300 M in stadium renovation funds, that no county tax levy money is part of the deal. Taylor said the county has other spending needs.
"Half a billion dollars in deferred maintenance in our parks alone, and we're looking at being told — I don't think this is going to be an option — being told that we need to help pay for Am Fam Field," Taylor complained.
Taylor told the committee that he's a Republican. Sup. Ryan Clancy, who identifies politically as a Socialist, said he agrees with Taylor's opposition to helping the Brewers.
"Boy, you know legislation is bad when both the Socialist and Conservatives on the board agree enough to the same resolution opposing it," Clancy joked.
The Brewers resolution passed 5-0.
Both the Brewers funding package, and the shared revenue proposal are expected to go through significant changes in the state Legislature in coming weeks.