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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Publications

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...
Sep, 2017
Our property tax and values report is an annual publication that measures trends in property values and examines how they impact the capacity of local governments and school districts to raise revenues. We find that the region's gross property tax...
Jul, 2017
Our latest research finds sharp distinctions between the City of Milwaukee and similar-sized cities when it comes to financing the workings of their city governments. This finding and a deeper review of four of Milwaukee's peers suggest that changes...
Jun, 2017
As part of the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread's "Resilient Communities" initiative, we produced a comprehensive set of "community indicators" that speak to how the Greater Racine community is doing both economically and socioeconomically. While...

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