Move Forward MKE is a Milwaukee County-wide coalition of local governments, business leaders, and community leaders who recognize that local problems are best solved with local solutions. Move Forward MKE supports giving Milwaukee County voters the power to decide if Milwaukee County and its 19 municipalities should be allowed to generate the revenue to provide property tax relief, while adequately funding public services, maintaining facilities, and investing in the future through a binding referendum process.
Local governments in Milwaukee County are challenged to provide services because of a lack of revenue. Annual budget gaps grow each year due to revenue limits. As a result, communities are faced with increasingly difficult decisions about what to fund, and where to cut. As budget cuts grow larger by the year, the public services that many of us and our neighbors depend on are increasingly at risk. Local governments have had to put off maintenance of public facilities and important investments in public infrastructure. Our parks and popular cultural venues are in disrepair.
Local governments need new sources of revenue to avoid dangerous cuts, more delays in repairs, and reduced services, including police and fire. But local governments don't have the authority they need to generate those new sources of revenue, as current revenue limits are set by state law.
The compounding effects of years of insufficient revenue and the requirement for legislative action to address revenue limits have led community leaders seek out a renewed partnership with state government. Government, business, and community leaders are asking the Wisconsin Legislature for permission to go to voters and ask for their approval to solve a local problem with a local solution.
Move Forward MKE supports allowing Milwaukee County to raise its sales tax by 1 percent to generate new revenue and to dedicate a significant portion of that new revenue to property tax relief - if voters approve through a binding referendum. Property tax relief and new sales tax revenue would be shared between Milwaukee County and its 19 municipalities.
Our proposal gives voters the power to decide if their local government will be allowed to generate the revenue it needs to adequately fund public services, maintain facilities, and invest in the future.