local government finance

December 2, 2016 - 9:35am
Remember the pair of shoes you used to wear to work every day? The ones that looked good and worked with everything you needed to get done? Unfortunately, they wore out to the point where they actually worked against you. Eventually, those shoes...
October 17, 2016 - 7:20am
If there is one thing you can count on pertaining to the City of Milwaukee’s annual proposed budget, it’s this: all things being equal, you’re going to get a fiscally responsible budget that preserves key services and addresses pressing...
October 14, 2016 - 7:45am
The Forum’s annual review of the County Executive’s proposed budget typically finds a half dozen or so key decisions that particularly merit our scrutiny based on their long-term financial impact and the controversy they have engendered with the...
September 18, 2016 - 9:00pm
In August 2009, the Public Policy Forum published Between a Rock and a Hard Place, a detailed examination of the City of Milwaukee's finances. The report was released just weeks after Mayor Barrett had proclaimed the City’s upcoming 2010 budget "by...
September 12, 2016 - 9:50pm
Many times in life we have possessions that we take for granted; something that we might invest in, and are proud of when it is brand new. Over time it begins to lose its luster because it has always been there, and - in our minds - it is always...
September 8, 2016 - 9:45pm
Seven years removed from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, southeast Wisconsin appears to have returned to a state of "normalcy" with regard to property values and property tax collections, marked by modest increases in both....
May 25, 2016 - 8:00am
You might be familiar with a Twenty One Pilots song called Tear in My Heart, which includes the following lyrics: “I’m driving here I sit, cursing my government, For not using my taxes to fill holes with more cement.” I’m sure some of us have had...
May 18, 2016 - 8:00am
The Public Policy Forum's annual review of the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) superintendent's proposed budget finds plenty to like. But, as is typically the case with MPS finances, we find red flags, as well. The most striking element of the...
January 28, 2016 - 11:22am
A story in this morning's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel breaks the news that Milwaukee property taxpayers and individual property owners face a combined bill of more than $500 million to remove and replace lead pipes in the city's water system. The...

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