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.

Search Publications


Jun, 2002
Between 1999 and 2000, the 147 municipal governments in Southeastern Wisconsin increased spending by 4.4% while general revenue was relatively flat, rising only 0.8%.
Apr, 2002
Tax rates in the 7-county metro area are slightly lower in 2002 than they were in 2001, but due to higher property values, the typical Southeastern Wisconsin homeowner is paying 4.6% more in taxes.
Mar, 2002
In 2001, the City of Milwaukee's residential tax base grew at a surprising rate of 12%.
Jun, 2001
The City of Milwaukee ascended to 6th on the Public Policy Forum's tax rate ranking from 16th last year among the 68 cities and villages in the 5-county metro area.
May, 2001
The Public Policy Forum's annual analysis of revenues and expenditures for the 67 cities and villages in the five-county Milwaukee area found that state aids as a percentage of total revenue declined throughout the metro area from 30.5% in 1998 to...
Feb, 2001
With census data coming out, it has been noted that a feasible way for Midwest states to grow at a rate that is comparable to coastal and southern states is to become key players in the New Economy.