The endorsements below illustrate Move Forward MKE’s broad support to provide Milwaukee County the ability to the ability to diversify its revenue streams to provide property tax relief, reform local pension systems, while adequately funding public services, maintaining facilities, and investing in the future.
"We need a more equitable solution to pay for local government services in an urban environment like Milwaukee that serves as the cultural and commercial center of the State of Wisconsin. Every day, Milwaukee must provide city infrastructure and police and fire protection to the many visitors that come to work and play. Unfortunately, under the current structure the burden to pay for these services falls solely on Milwaukee’s taxpayers. Wisconsin needs to recognize, as most states do, that in order for an urban center to thrive it must have diversified revenue to pay for core essential services used by everyone."
José G. Pérez, Common Council President, City of Milwaukee
"There is an urgent and critical need for an additional revenue solution for Milwaukee County. We cannot continue to rely on already-high property taxes or budget cuts - that is simply not sustainable. As the economic engine of Wisconsin, Milwaukee County must have the tools necessary to invest in our communities, our residents and our businesses to ensure that this region, and our State, continues to grow. What's more, the ability to invest in Milwaukee County will help us achieve our vision of racial equity and help make Milwaukee the healthiest County in Wisconsin."
David Crowley, Milwaukee County Executive
“A lack of revenue is holding Milwaukee County back. Inadequate revenue prevents us from delivering state mandated services and working to improve the health of our communities. We urgently need a permanent solution to this crisis and we need the State Legislature to work with us to move Milwaukee forward.”
Marcelia Nicholson, Chairwoman of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors
"Our city and our region need a stable, diversified revenue structure to retain future fiscal health. Diversifying the city’s revenues will ensure that the City of Milwaukee continues to move forward in financially sustainable way that maintains access to essential services for our residents. I look forward to working in partnership with state legislators to move our region forward."
Cavalier Johnson, Milwaukee Mayor
“Our state’s model for funding local government is broken and must evolve for the sake of communities of every size and shape in our state. The Greater Milwaukee Committee is proud to be a longstanding partner in this work, including commissioning research from the Wisconsin Policy Forum that highlights our stunning over-reliance on property tax and the glaring need for revenue diversification. Without immediate and bold action, the provision of basic services like public safety, sanitation and infrastructure maintenance will be at risk and Milwaukee will fail to reach our potential to become one of the world’s truly great cities. We stand with our partners across local government, the private sector, and the community to encourage action that enables local control and ensures Milwaukee can continue to be the economic engine for the State.”
Joel Brennan, President of the Greater Milwaukee Committee
“This new partnership is a critical step in moving the Milwaukee area forward. Milwaukee County and its municipalities house 60 percent of the jobs in our metro area. To provide property tax relief, maintain critical services and support our infrastructure, MMAC supports making a case to voters that this is necessary and sound investment in the future of the entire metro area.”
Timothy Sheehy, President of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
“For years we have been doing more with less as state aids continue to decline, and having the option to generate local revenue represents a watershed moment for us to not only sustain ourselves, but to thrive for generations to come. This plan is the best way forward for us to give Milwaukee County taxpayers the services and programs they deserve.”
Chris Abele, Former Milwaukee County Executive
HOAN Group: "HOAN strongly supports Move Forward MKE’s effort to preserve Milwaukee’s ability to attract and retain bright and talented future leaders. As an independent group that brings together diverse leaders from Milwaukee and Madison to take collective action on the problems of today and develop the leaders of tomorrow, HOAN is acutely aware of the critical need to preserve the assets and services that make our region a destination."
"The American Heart Association supports coalition efforts to secure additional resources that enable the County to support critical local services and initiatives necessary for Milwaukee to pursue its vision of becoming the healthiest county in WI by achieving racial equity."
Katie Connolly, Executive Director - SE WI, American Heart Association
Wisconsin Counties Association: “Wisconsin Counties have very few options to fund services, and as a result have been forced to over rely on property taxes to fund local services and state mandates. Milwaukee County’s has leveraged the broad support of their business community and community leaders to identify a way to solve acute problems in their community and diversify their revenue stream to reduce property taxes, reform their local pension system, and fund critical public services. A successful and prosperous Wisconsin requires a strong Milwaukee economy.”
League of Wisconsin Municipalities: “Milwaukee leaders, both public and private sector, recognize the need for a more modern, diversified system that will keep police officers on the beat, EMTs just a phone call away, snow plow drivers at the ready and the many other critical local public servants ready and able to meet the needs of our leading city. No other state finances local government solely on the backs of property tax payers. We can do better, and for Wisconsin’s future, we must do better.”
Marcus Performing Arts Center: “Marcus Performing Arts Center strongly supports the collaborative effort between our region’s community and business leaders to ensure Milwaukee has the necessary tools continue as a globally competitive region, attracting people here for work and play. As the premier performing arts community gathering space in Southeastern Wisconsin, the Marcus Center understands the economic value generated for the region and state through quality of life services and amenities, and the need to preserve them."
NAIOP - Wisconsin: “Move Forward MKE effort provides strategic investments in key areas necessary to allow Milwaukee County to grow and thrive. It is a balanced approach focused on tax relief, public safety, and the long-term viability of our community."
Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS: “High property taxes are a burden to homeownership and a barrier to enjoying a higher quality of life. The Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS® supports local option taxes and user fees to reduce property taxes and fund quality of life services, including public safety in order to grow economic activity in the region, which provides stability to the real estate industry."
Menomonee Valley Partners: “Parks, infrastructure, responsive government services, and other valuable amenities and services attract and retain the strong businesses that drive Milwaukee, the economic engine of our state. We need a sustainable, diversified revenue structure to provide the services that support these needs and keep the greater Milwaukee area competitive with peer cities across the nation when it comes to location for business and talent."
VISIT MKE: "VISIT MKE applauds the collaborative effort by the business and community leaders through Move Forward MKE, as it directly supports VISIT’s mission. VISIT Milwaukee is focused on increasing the economic impact to our region and state by marketing Greater Milwaukee as a premier location for business and leisure travel. Tourism is vital to our region’s success as it generates $6 billion in annual economic activity and supports 52,000 full-time jobs. VISIT supports securing tools that enable us to preserve quality of life amenities and services, including public safety, that enables us to be a globally competitive region to bring tourists and businesses to Milwaukee for work and play."
Forest County Potawatomi: "The Potawatomi have called Milwaukee home for hundreds of years and will continue to do so for hundreds more. This is why Potawatomi supports Move Forward MKE’s effort to ensure Milwaukee County can continue to maintain and enhance valuable services that help attract businesses and people to the region to generate economic activity and increase the economic health of the region."
Milwaukee Public Museum: "Milwaukee Public Museum supports the Move Forward MKE coalition’s effort to put Milwaukee, and the region, on a path for a more stable and brighter future. Since 1882, Milwaukee Public Museum has been an integral part of the community, and an asset for the entire state, drawing visitors from across the country. Securing additional tools to preserve quality of life services and amenities ensures Milwaukee will remain a destination, generating cultural and economic benefits for the region and state."
Milwaukee Downtown BID 21: "Since 1998, Milwaukee Downtown BID 21 has supported the interests of the downtown Milwaukee business community, representing the interests of roughly 500 property owners. MKE Downtown understands that creating a clean, safe, and friendly downtown is critical to the economic success of our community, region, and state. MKE Downtown strongly supports the Move Forward MKE coalition and its effort to ensure our community has the necessary tools to preserve quality of life services, including public safety, that ensures Milwaukee continues to be a strong economic asset for our region and state."
NWSP: "The Near West Side, Inc. supports the Move Forward MKE coalition’s effort to strengthen our region’s ability to attract businesses, sustain economic growth, and improve neighborhoods. Similar to Move Forward MKE, Near West Side Partnership leverages cross-sector collaboration, between institutional stakeholders, civic leaders, and residents to work toward a collective goal to make our community a great place to live, work, play and stay by revitalizing and sustaining thriving businesses and neighborhoods. Additional local tools to invest in services and amenities that enable our community to attract and retain talent is critical to the long term economic success of our region."
WCD: "The Wisconsin Center District (WCD) endorses Move Forward MKE’s effort to secure additional local tools to ensure Milwaukee remains a globally competitive region. This effort aligns with WCD’s mission to generate prosperity for the Greater Milwaukee community, and our state, by leveraging Wisconsin Center District assets and resources to attract meetings and conventions and entertainment events. As a nationally recognized live events district, providing first class facilities to attract events and visitors to Milwaukee, WCD recognizes the value of preserving quality of life services, including public safety, which are critical to the success of our mission and the region’s economic health."
CAR-W: "CARW supports the Move Forward MKE coalition’s effort to ensure Milwaukee continues to be globally competitive metro region. Our members recognize the critical value of adequately funding quality of life amenities and services, including public safety, to attract and retain businesses to Milwaukee. A diversified revenue structure that moves away from a reliance on property taxes is essential for the economic health of our region and state."
M7: “The Milwaukee region is in a global competition for the talent our companies require to remain globally competitive. Quality of place acutely matters to these individuals. Our region must be in position to invest in the types of physical, educational, cultural and recreational assets that attract and retain these critical workers.”
“This proposal once again shows Milwaukee County elected leaders offering solutions, not pointing fingers. The ICC vote today reflects our desire to work together across the county to meet the needs of our residents. I applaud the County Executive and County Board Chair for their vision and look forward to working with them to advance this proposal at the state level."
Bryan Kennedy, Glendale Mayor
“This plan starts to address an outmoded state revenue structure which resulted in Milwaukee having the highest municipal rate of property tax as percentage of local tax revenue amongst all our peer cities in the country. The GMC commissioned the Wisconsin Policy Forum reports in 2016, “Making Ends Meet” and the 2017 “On the Money?” report to look in-depth at our unusual revenue structure with comparisons to peer cities which brought the revenue structure issues to the forefront of the discussion. We are pleased to support these next steps in changing our revenue structure to allow for equitable growth for our neighborhoods, our municipalities and our county.”
Julia Taylor, Previous President of the Greater Milwaukee Committee
“Together we are focused on a solution that empowers local voters to decide how our fiscal challenges are addressed. With their approval, we can ease the squeeze on local budgets for police, firefighters, and roads.”
Tom Barrett, Former Milwaukee Mayor
“The unprecedented unity among Milwaukee County and its' 19 municipalities demonstrates just how urgently we as local elected officials recognize the need for a renewed partnership with State government. The idea of a new source of revenue responds to the call of citizens across our county who want to see critical investments in transportation, parks and necessary public services in their communities and it gives them the power to make it a reality.”
Theodore Lipscomb, Former Sr., Chairman of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors
“Milwaukee has unique challenges, but we are also in a unique position to provide opportunities to create economic growth for our region and the entire state. The current revenue structure constrains our full economic potential. We want to be a part of the solution and be able to stand on our own two feet, and we see enormous opportunity for growth and service enhancement if given the ability.”
Ashanti Hamilton, Milwaukee Common Council
"Our beloved Milwaukee Parks are an integral part of the community and draw visitors from across the state, region, and nation. The long-term success of our public services, including parks, depends on Milwaukee County's ability to diversify sources of revenue. Milwaukee Parks Foundation strongly supports the Move Forward MKE coalition and its solution for fiscal sustainability." - Rebecca Stoner, Executive Director, Milwaukee Parks Foundation