Public Policy Forum Research

 

The Public Policy Forum aims to build public understanding of local government finances through comprehensive fiscal assessments and annual budget briefs. These reports shed light on the state of governmental fiscal affairs and their associated impacts on valued public services. Recent publications include in-depth financial reviews of Milwaukee County, the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Area Technical College, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, and Milwaukee Public Schools. The Forum has complemented these projects with annual budget reviews for two of the area’s largest taxing bodies, Milwaukee County and the City of Milwaukee. In addition to these published reports, the Forum regularly works with local government agencies, providing more focused analyses in areas that can improve financial strength.

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May, 2018
In recent years, Wisconsin has seen a sudden increase in local governments establishing new vehicle registration fees. A local vehicle registration fee—otherwise known as a “wheel tax”—is an annual charge in addition to the state $75 registration...
May, 2018
Our new research lays out funding options for a new Milwaukee County Justice Center. The new facility--which is expected to cost more than $300 million--will replace the aging Safety Building, which was constructed in 1929 and no longer meets the...
Apr, 2018
Our latest research finds that as the Greater Racine region prepares for the arrival of Foxconn, its largest city faces a set of difficult financial obstacles. While the City of Racine's finances are well-managed and its short-term financial outlook...
Oct, 2017
Our analysis of the Mayor's proposed City of Milwaukee budget indicates that structural challenges have come to a head. As a result, annual cuts in public safety staffing, as well as property tax increases that exceed the rate of inflation, may...
Oct, 2017
Our analysis of the Milwaukee County Executive's recommended budget finds that the 2018 proposal largely averts service cuts, which is no easy task given the $30.9 million budget deficit facing the County in the coming year. The trade-off, however,...
Sep, 2017
Our latest research finds that buildings owned by the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County face substantial and expensive repair and replacement needs that will need to be accommodated in increasingly tight capital budgets. While there...

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