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Budget Brief: 2013 Proposed City of Milwaukee Budget

In last year’s analysis of the City of Milwaukee’s proposed budget, the Public Policy Forum characterized the budget climate as “a second consecutive year of relative calm before a likely return of dark fiscal storm clouds.” As anticipated, those storm clouds now have gathered over City Hall, the byproduct of the start of an unprecedented series of pension payments that will consume a sizeable portion of the city’s property tax levy for the next several years. To their credit, city officials anticipated the approaching storm and, during the past two years, fortified the city’s finances to lessen its impacts. Consequently, the 2013 proposed budget is able to largely sustain existing service levels while relying on only a modest increase in the property tax, and while also keeping the city on track with regard to its long-range infrastructure repair goals.

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