Milwaukee County

LaToya Dennis

Milwaukee County leaders want to put a binding referendum on the ballot that would raise the county sales tax by 1%. But before the county can take that step, it needs approval from the state legislature.

City and county officials say the goal is to not only reduce the property tax here, but to also create a new source of revenue.

endymion120, flickr

When a disaster strikes, we want emergency services to be there as fast as humanly possible. We want to know the people who arrive on scene are properly trained to the highest standard and that they can quickly communicate and coordinate with other city and county departments and agencies.

Susan Bence

Updated on June 11 at 2:12 p.m. CT

Milwaukee County is home to more than 15,000 acres of parkland. Keeping those spaces green and healthy is daunting, especially as funding diminishes and park crews are cut. While many people cherish public green spaces, some worry about the pesticides that Milwaukee County Parks uses to manage the land.

Marti Mikkelson

For the fifth summer in a row, thousands of people have flocked to Milwaukee County’s beer gardens to sample an array of beer and kick back with family and friends. The county experimented with the idea in 2012 – and now more beer gardens are popping up across the area. They appear to have accomplished their purpose of bringing people back to the parks.

Milwaukee County supervisors are not holding regular office hours the way they did in the past. A new state law took effect nearly a year ago; it cut supervisors’ salaries in half, eliminated their health care benefits and reduced their terms from four years to two. WUWM spoke with some board members about how they’re adjusting to part-time status.

http://www.eastwestbrt.com/assets/may_e-w_brt_online_pim_displays.pdf

The finance committee of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing earlier this week on County Executive Chris Abele’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year.

Michelle Maternowski

For the past eight years, people who live in Milwaukee have been paying an additional $20 to register their vehicles. Now, Milwaukee County residents may have to cough up an additional $60. That’s what County Executive Chris Abele will formally introduce in his 2017 budget proposal Monday. He says the so-called wheel tax is necessary in order to plug a hole in the transit budget. An increasing number of local governments across Wisconsin are considering the option.

A vehicle registration fee is Milwaukee County's only option for raising new revenue to sustain transit, according to County Executive Chris Abele, because no state approval is needed. Gov. Walker has opposed any increase in the sales or income tax. Abele estimates a $60 annual fee charged to people who own vehicles here would raise $27 million a year to help pay for the transit system and to fund annual bus replacements, as well as to repairs to county highways, parkways and bridges.

S Bence

Many Milwaukee County residents who attended a hearing Wednesday night at the Washington Park Senior Center don't like the thought of having to pay to park along the lakefront or a wheel tax, in order to help plug a $56 million budget shortfall.

Marti Mikkelson

Major structural changes take effect Monday for the Milwaukee County Board – right after supervisors take the oath of office. A new state law will cut their salaries in half, eliminate their health care benefits and reduce their terms from four years to two.

State Republicans initiated those changes after hearing complaints about board members micro-managing the county and the high cost of a full-time board. Voters agreed.

WUWM talks with a few supervisors about how they plan to adjust.

domes
S Bence

On Tuesday, a Milwaukee County board committee approved spending another $500,000 to help move along repairs to the Mitchell Park Domes. Projected expenses are mounting county-wide for deferred maintenance projects. The cost of saving the domes could run $75 million. And recent estimates put the cost of replacing the aging county safety building at $190 million. While the county faces important choices, there is one option to help government’s lower costs.

LaToya Dennis

The relationship between Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Milwaukee County Board is contentious. Abele scored a slight victory on Monday after a judge dismissed the case Milwaukee County Board Chair Theodore Lipscomb’s brought against Abele.   

Back in October of 2015, Lipscomb sued Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. Lipscomb says two issues are at the heart of the lawsuit.

Justin Hofmann, flickr

We will soon learn how many people are interested in serving on the Milwaukee County Board – now that it’s becoming a part-time job. Candidates can begin circulating nomination papers today, Dec. 1.

The state has imposed structural changes on the board. The one that will kick in, following April’s election, is that the job of supervisor will become half-time – in terms of salary and benefits.

Milwaukee County

Previously on Lake Effect, County Executive Chris Abele commented on the county’s budget for the coming fiscal year.  The County Board passed an amended version that restores cuts to the budget for the Sheriff’s office, and includes an increase in the county’s tax levy.

Chris Abele Weighs in on Fiscal Year 2016

Nov 12, 2015
County Executive Chris Abele / facebook.com

The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors this week passed an amended budget for the coming fiscal year.  The changes were made to what was proposed by County Executive Chris Abele. 

The new document has some key similarities to what Abele proposed but also some major differences.  Abele is expected to make vetoes of parts in the coming days, and the County Board will follow with a meeting at which the vetoes can be overridden.

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