County Board Passes Sales Tax Referrendum

The future of our treasured resource, the Milwaukee County Parks, looks like it may have a bright future — at least for the moment. According to Jim Goulee of The Park People,

“The Milwaukee County Board today passed a resolution to place an advisory referendum for a half percent sales tax increase for support of our parks. The referendum will be placed on the November ballot, assuming it withstands Walker’s veto. The board passed the resolution with a vote of 13 to 5 (Supv. Lipscomb was absent). This margin represents a super majority which is necessary to override the expected veto.”

If you ask me, this is very good news. For years, many have been complaining about a high property tax levy in Milwaukee County. (Let me assure you it’s high in Dane County, too.) This finally gives us a chance to do something about it. Scott Walker has made a big deal about not raising property taxes — which he hasn’t been able to do. It seems that no one, be it Walker or our friends at CRG have been able to actually manifest any real reduction of property taxes. Finally, we have a way to do it.

By voting for the sales tax, you can help lower the property tax which all landowners must pay in the County. That is something that no amount of recalls or electing ultraconservatives to the county board would ever do.

We need to watch this closly. Except a veto attempt by Walker, which will be overturned, and a months-long “vote no” chorus on the wingnut radio. This will need to be marketed both in the suburbs and in urban Milwaukee. But we can do it. So let’s do it!

Also: Jim Goulee wrote again to say that he was incorrect on two points. The motion still passed, but it was by 12-6. Thirteen members of the board would be needed for a veto override, meaning Supervisor Lipscomb, who was absent today and did not vote, will be the swing vote to override Walker’s veto.

Second, the sales tax would also aid transit, which Goulee did not mention, which is understandable, as he is a proponent of the parks.

Update: Walker vetoed the resolution, as expected, but the Board will likely vote to override his veto in September. How many veto overrides has he seen now?

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Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.