Wednesday, June 17, 2009

 

Major wins for Milwaukee in Senate budget, including $67 million in property tax relief


Senate to approve transit, parks funding; reinstate e911 grants

(MADISON) Sen. Lena C. Taylor (D‐Milwaukee) today announced several major wins for Milwaukee that will be included in the Senate version of the state budget. Included is the dedicated funding source for transit, parks, culture, and EMS and mandated property tax relief for Milwaukee County along with statewide restoration of the e911 grants to pay for county 911 systems.

“This budget includes some of the largest victories Milwaukee County will have ever won,” Taylor noted. “The will of the people in the November 2008 referendum will be clearly stated in the Senate action today. Milwaukee County Transit and Parks will be funded as the voters asked, and taxpayers will see 67 million dollars in mandated property tax relief.”

The action by the Senate will remove the one‐county RTA as proposed by the Finance Committee and in its place provide Milwaukee County with sales tax authority. The authority will include revenue sharing with local municipalities in Milwaukee County to help fund police, fire, and EMS services. The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors will be required to authorize the sales tax in a board action.

“This plan in front of the Senate today will provide a needed funding source and property tax relief to Milwaukee County,” Taylor said. “I am so happy that I was able to work with the Milwaukee delegation to make this plan a reality in the Senate. Restoring parks funding and providing property tax relief were priorities that needed to be accomplished.”

Also, the Senate today will reinstate the e911 grant program that Taylor authored in the Joint Committee on Finance. The proposal will allocate the e911 surcharge to a grant program that will pay for 911 systems in Wisconsin, beginning in 2011. The Wisconsin Counties Association and Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association supported the e911 grant program proposal throughout this process.

“These wins are major for Milwaukee,” Taylor commented. “Going to conference committee on these items and securing the Governor’s signature are major steps ahead. Milwaukee County citizens should weigh in with lawmakers about the need for this funding.”

The Senate will convene on the budget today and approve these measures. It is expected that the Legislature will call for a conference committee to reconcile the Assembly and Senate versions of the budget.