State Representative Janel
Milwaukee Is On
The Verge Of Economic Collapse
Early this week
Milwaukee’s Mayor Tom Barrett revealed his intentions to
ask the Legislature to pave the way for a half of a cent
sales tax increase for the City of Milwaukee. Currently,
the police budget is more than the cities entire
property tax revenue, and shared revenues payments from
the state have been decreasing. Barrett cites the rising
cost of hiring and maintaining police officers as the
main driver in needing a tax increase. We should keep in
mind that all urban areas around the country share
similar challenges, however Milwaukee seems to be
heading in a downward spiral that may be hard to rebound
from. There are many issues that need to be solved long
before taxes are raised.
The Mayor and his city
government are in charge of a police department that
they themselves do not support.
This has created a volatile atmosphere between
citizens who suspect the police of targeting people
of color and the police who are simply trying to keep
crime from boiling over.
Milwaukee Police Chief
Flynn has enacted policies that limit police
officers ability to fight crime, therefore enabling
gang members to “do their business” with impunity.
Milwaukee has become safe for criminals and unsafe
for law abiding citizens. (Hint: That’s really bad
Milwaukee no longer treat crime seriously. Serious
offenders are set little to no bail, and for those
who actually show up to court, they receive light
continuously drop gun charges and plea bargain
criminals down to minor infractions with little or
no jail time.
The correctional system does not return repeat
offenders who are out on parole or probation back to
prison. Someone who commits a crime while enjoying
the leniency of parole or probation should be in
jail, and that’s a no brainer.
Property taxes are out
of control. There is declining interest in living in
Milwaukee and the reasons are fairly simple.
According to Discover Milwaukee, in 2015 the
property taxes on a $225,000 home in Milwaukee is
$6,457 and in Brookfield the taxes are $3,818.
That’s $220 a month more in property taxes to live
in Milwaukee. This tax disparity puts further
downward pressure on property values in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee has failing schools, Brookfield has
excellent schools. Milwaukee is a high crime area,
Brookfield is very safe.
The business climate in
Milwaukee is bad and getting worse. Investors are no
longer putting their resources into areas that are
too risky for their property or their personnel.
Business activity creates the jobs needed to
stimulate the economy but until the safety issue is
addressed businesses will not invest.
Mayor Barrett and the rest of Milwaukee’s government
needs to set priorities for the City of Milwaukee that
makes sense. Safety is the key to economic development.
The article I’ve linked
here demonstrates how bad the problem has become in
Last week I voted yes
to move the Foxconn deal forward. This deal represents
historical investment opportunities for the state. This
week the Joint Finance Committee held a hearing in
Sturtevant, Wisconsin on the proposal and I expect the bill to move
Interns Saved The Day
A special thank you to
our interns for the summer. Maggie Nowakowski and
Steve Knopp filled in gallantly for our Legislative
Assistant Evan Hafenbreadl who was serving our country
in the National Guard. Thanks and well done!
you Steve and Maggie!