Recent Wisconsin Policy Forum research has revealed disturbing city budget trends in Milwaukee and Racine, including high levels of long-term debt, growing infrastructure and public safety challenges, and staff reductions in areas like libraries and public works. What is driving these trends, and are they growing worse? Are other Wisconsin cities facing similar challenges? What are the consequences if the roots of the problem are not addressed?
Our May Viewpoint Luncheon on “City Governments in Wisconsin: At a Breaking Point?”, featured four municipal leaders–Tom Barrett, Mayor, City of Milwaukee; Erik Brooks, Mayor, City of South Milwaukee; Lori Luther, City Manager, City of Beloit; James Palenick, City Administrator, City of Racine–who addressed these questions and offered their perspective on the unique financial challenges facing Wisconsin’s largest cities.
The event began with Forum President Rob Henken reviewing the findings of our recent research on Milwaukee and Racine finances and state property tax limits.
Wisconsin Eye covered the event – you can watch it here!
Photos from the event are posted here!