Day 1 of Milwaukee County 2012 budget hearings

Today was the first meeting on the 2012 budget by the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors Finance & Audit Committee. This intrepid group of seven six county supervisors, more commonly referred to as the Finance Committee, or just “Finance,” is entrusted with leading us through the dissection of the proposed 2012 county budget. If you don’t want to read through the whole, check out the excellent Budget Overview that was written by the County Board Staff.

I have to say that this budget is better than Walker’s budgets, in that there aren’t tricks being played, such as including a $9 million land sale—a sale that has not actually happened, and whose chances are slim to none. But the figure from this “sale” would be used to help balance the budget. The immediate problem with doing that is when the fictitious capital from the hypothetical land sale is removed from the budget, that left a nine million dollar hole in the budget. And the supervisors would have to figure out where the money to fill the hole would come from.

That was what Scott Walker did in many of his budgets.  (What ever happened to that Walker kid, anyway? Do you recall?*)

Anyway.

County Executive Chris Abele is betting the house on a big federal grant coming in to save transit for the next two or three years. I hope we get it, as I don’t want to lose bus service to the extent that the state has striven forced on us. We probably won’t know if we’ve gotten the grant until much later this month.

So then, in today’s session, we went through the following items:

• Human Resource and Payroll System
• State Shared Taxes
• County Sales Tax Revenue
• Power Plant Revenue
• Surplus (or Deficit) from Prior Year
• Offset to Internal Service Charges
• Charges to Other County Organization Units
• Potawatomi Revenue
• Appropriation for Contingencies
• Capital Outlay/Depreciation Contra
• General County Debt Issue
• Debt Issue Expense
• County Treasurer
• Earnings on Investments
• Unclaimed Money
• Other Miscellaneous Revenue
• Investment Advisory Services
• Election Commission

Pretty good for one session’s work.

If you’re curious and want to attend, the Committee meetings are in Room 203-R of the Milwaukee County Courthouse. Here’s the meeting schedule.

If you’re not able to attend, you can listen to the meetings as they are in session.

I made it through the first day fairly unscathed. Here’s to the next one!

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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.

2 thoughts on “Day 1 of Milwaukee County 2012 budget hearings”

  1. “I have to say that this budget is better than Walker’s budgets, in that there aren’t tricks being played,…”

    Oh, dear. Don’t forget the $7M that the county owes workers. He seemed to have forgotten that in his proposed budget, along with his promise to respect the workers.

  2. If we stopped funding the ad hoc Tea Party Sgt-at-Arms Sheriff of ours (or at least demanded competent law enforcement from him) we’d have 8 new bus lines. Just sayin’.

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