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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Oct, 2012
While the 2013 Milwaukee County budget process certainly will contain its share of hard choices and intense debates, there can be little disputing that this is the least difficult county budget in years. While the term “least difficult” needs to be...
Sep, 2012
Our study of a consolidated dispatch center focuses on each city’s current dispatch operations, including an extensive analysis of the duties currently performed by dispatchers and the financing of dispatch operations. We find that dispatch...
Jun, 2012
This report was initiated by a request from the directors of the Protective Payee program agencies for the Public Policy Forum to conduct an independent assessment of the program’s strengths and weaknesses. We viewed this as an opportunity not only...
Jun, 2012
This report is an annual Public Policy Forum publication that analyzes property values and property taxes within the seven-county southeast Wisconsin region. The report’s primary objective is to measure trends in property values – one of the region’...
Jun, 2012
Pull-out poster providing Southeastern Wisconsin property value and tax increases in an easily readable format.
May, 2012
In April 2011, at the suggestion of the Public Policy Forum and Greater Milwaukee Committee, the Intergovernmental Coordinating Council (ICC) formed a Shared Services and Cooperation Work Group to explore possibilities for greater service sharing...