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$640 million? Really?!

 

Empower Wisconsin | Nov. 21,  2019

By M.D. Kittle 

MADISON — No wonder so many Milwaukee city employees are fleeing the city. 

Milwaukee taxpayers would face a disastrous increase in property taxes, shaking down $640 million in additional annual spending to operate Milwaukee Public Schools, under a scenario contemplated by an ad hoc education referendum committee. 

That’s more than the $570 million the state Legislature and Gov. Tony Evers approved in additional spending for the entire state public education system — over the next two years. 

But $640 million would buy a top-of-the-line education, according to a story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which first reported the story. 

With that kind of money, MPS ought to be able to place each of its 77,000-plus students in an Ivy League school upon graduation.  

In a district where a dismal number of students can read, write, and solve math problems at grade level, Milwaukee doesn’t need $640 million more; it needs a miracle. 

The scenario would more than double local property tax bills, a figure that shocked members of the community committee. Even Milwaukee Bucks President Peter Feigin, chairman of the panel, found the scenario off-putting. And this is a guy who unabashedly asked state taxpayers to fork over $250 million for the NBA basketball franchise’s gilded arena. 

The committee is charged with coming up with recommendations to the school board, which is fixed on taking a spending referendum to voters next year. Some committee members suggested not recommending a dollar figure at all, but leaving the final number to the school board. 

Seriously seeking $640 million more in taxpayer money for a failing school system should embarrass anyone. 

A recently released study shows city employees have exited the city in droves since the state Legislature removed Milwaukee’s long-standing residency requirement. 

With these kinds of property tax-busting ideas coming out of the Milwaukee education referendum committee, expect to see a continued exodus. 

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1 thought on “$640 million? Really?!

  • Even the low-end amounts listed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article are too much for a shrinking system that residents are abandoning for better alternatives. Demographics are also shrinking it. In Milwaukee, I intend to vote against the property tax increase on 4/7/2020.

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