Budget Brief

2017 Proposed City of Milwaukee Budget

October 2016


Our analysis of the City of Milwaukee proposed budget finds the City faces familiar challenges in 2017, including flat intergovernmental revenues and growing Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) expenditure needs. Despite these challenges, we find that the proposed budget is able to maintain service levels and make reasonable demands on taxpayers, though long-term challenges continue to grow.

  • The budget uses a 2.75% property tax increase to generate an extra $7 million to help balance the budget, while fees increase modestly;
  • Several neighborhood-based¬†initiatives are included in the proposed budget, but they are mostly funded with outside grants because of the City’s limited local resource capacity;
  • The proposed budget is able to meet the City’s most pressing financial needs, including increased police and fire salaries, higher debt service, and the City Hall repair project; and
  • While the 2017 proposed budget is fiscally sound and lacks workforce reductions or service cuts, 2018 could be a much more challenging year.