Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

Two budgets

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In Milwaukee County, the County Board voted today to override County Executive Scott Walker’s veto of the county budget. The budget increases spending by $8.4 million, a 3.6% increase. More importantly, the budget has unfounded county staff positions and is structurally unsound.

Meanwhile in Waukesha County, County Executive Dan Vrakas has taken some heat for not being aggressive enough in cutting spending even though he claims the budget will result in a savings for the average homeowner. Two supervisors voted against the budget because it spent too much money.

District 32 Supervisor Peter Gundrum said he has yet to vote in favor of a county budget in his years on the board.

“This budget is still $3.3 million more than last year’s budget,” he said Tuesday afternoon. “Look around Wisconsin. Companies are having to run leaner and with lower costs, but we’ve just kept on spending because we can.”

“Waukesha County really is a star government when you look around at other county governments and their increases, but I think we can do better than this budget,” he said. “This one just isn’t good enough for me.”

District 4 Supervisor Robert Hutton, who cast the only other no vote, said he did so “not because I thought the budget was terrible, but because I thought we could do better.”

“I applaud County Executive Dan Vrakas for his budget because it went a long way toward streamlining county government, but I was hoping for a zero percent tax levy increase,” he said.

All this on a day when it was announced the sales tax for Miller Park may have to be extended beyond 2014 due to sales tax revenue growing at less than projected levels.

It might occur to someone that maybe all this government tax and spending might be dampening growth. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it will occur to anyone soon.

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