Meeting Time: July 11, 2023 at 9:00am CDT

Agenda Item

1. 230357 A substitute ordinance relating to a city sales and use tax.

   Oppose     Neutral     Support    
1200 of 1200 characters remaining
  • Default_avatar
    Alan Chavoya 11 months ago

    Our general city employees need the support, and I have and continue to stand in solidarity with them. The sales tax, however, is only supporting the police and fire pensions. This is not a sustainable policy, and it’s not going to resolve any of the problems our city is facing with the budget crisis. I attended some town halls, and all I heard was that the sales tax would buy some time and unfreeze some money. What I didn’t hear is how the Common Council and Mayor would stop mismanaging the budget? What will they do to prevent State Officials from continuing to target Milwaukee? How will they actually solve the problems we are facing? For these reasons, I cannot support the sales tax. I demand that the Common Council file that lawsuit against the state and remove those repressive Milwaukee-specific provisions from Act 12. It should be up to Milwaukee to determine how we spend our money. Only then will we be able to support our general city employees.

  • Default_avatar
    Omar Flores 11 months ago

    I'm strongly against the sales tax. This sets a terrible precedent, that the state can completely dry us out on shared revenue and we will just charge our residents more to make up for it. We develop a vast majority of the tax revenue for the entirety of the state. Milwaukee going bankrupt will not only impact us, but the state at large. Meaning, we have leverage against the state. If they want their funds to continue coming, we need to get our fair share. Voting for this sales tax is a product of short term and desperate thinking. The residents in working class Milwaukee have made their voices clear, that we do not want this sales tax. The rich business owners are obviously in favor of this, the more we get taxed the less they do.

  • Default_avatar
    John Kaye 11 months ago

    I strongly support the sales tax. Yes, it's regressive, and of course nobody likes to pay taxes, but we need it! City services & responsibilities are important and need to be paid for. Vote YES!

  • Default_avatar
    Karen Samelson 11 months ago

    As a 25-year resident of MIlwaukee, I urge the Common Council to support the 2% city sales tax as the lesser of two evils.

    I am willing to pay the 2% to preserve jobs and prevent cuts to vital services, including libraries, street repairs, garbage and recycling pickup, and safety services. We also need the funds to support the new Climate & Equity Plan.

    This tax will hit harder at residents with limited means, but future cuts to city services would hurt them more, and nonresidents will provide some of the tax income.

    It's frustrating that limited shared revenue from the Legislature and mounting pension costs have put us in this position in the first place.

    I am angry about the restrictions that the Republican legislators have put on Milwaukee in the budget bill, including provision on diversity, equity and inclusion, requiring officers in some Milwaukee Public Schools, and limits on the Fire and Police Commission. That violates the premise of home rule, but I understand these odious restrictions will take place even if the tax measure fails. I support efforts to get around these measures.

    Thank you for taking tough stands to fight this critical battle.

    Karen Samelson

  • Default_avatar
    Janet Meissner Pritchard 11 months ago

    As a Milwaukee resident and member of the City-County Task Force on Climate and Economic Equity, I urge members of the Common Council to adopt a 2% sales

    The 2% sales tax is urgently needed to ensure the City's fiscal sustainability. In addition, it is important for the City to invest in programs and actions to ensure our environmental and social sustainability, as outlined in the City's recently adopted Climate & Equity Plan. We will not be well positioned to make such investments, however, if we don't first ensure that the City is able to meet its existing financial obligations and sustain essential services.

    Please support the 2% sales tax.

    Janet Meissner Pritchard
    3029 N Downer Ave
    Milwaukee, WI 53211

  • Default_avatar
    Linda Frank 11 months ago

    Dear Common Council Members,
    I respectfully request that you vote in favor of the 2% sales tax, for these reasons:
    • With no sales tax, there will be drastic cuts in City services and personnel. Including closing libraries. These cuts will severely negatively affect low-income people and neighborhoods who benefit from City services and programs.
    • The sales tax excludes household essentials like groceries, medicine, and residential utilities.
    • One-third of the sales tax revenues are expected to come from visitors who currently do not contribute to city revenues.
    • With no sales tax, many plans and initiatives approved by the Common Council are unlikely to be implemented, including the recently adopted Milwaukee Climate & Equity Plan. Milwaukee cannot function as a visionary leading city with its finances in disarray.
    • Support for the sales tax does NOT indicate support for the offensive and overreaching provisions of Wisconsin Act 12, such as the restrictions on funding DEI positions, the mandates concerning police services and stripping of authority from the Fire & Police Commission. I support the resolutions to explore challenging these provisions.

  • Default_avatar
    Diana Luepke 11 months ago

    I support the proposed 2% sales tax, though I empathize with those who are upset about it. I do not support the restrictions the state has placed on how Milwaukee spends these funds, how else we can raise funds, or other rules they have put in place to dictate how we govern ourselves. I'm not convinced a sales tax like this is the best solution that could exist. But I think it's the best solution that DOES exist given the state's restrictions. I believe it is imperative that we pass the sales tax quickly to prevent the fiscal cliff, but I would support changes to its composition over time to include additional exceptions to costs that many low-income residents might have. I appreciate that many basic necessities like food, medicine and residential energy are already exclusions. I don't understand some of the nuances around other common expense types, but I would generally support the principle of adding more exclusions that prevent low-income residents from bearing this burden (if applicable).

  • Default_avatar
    Cathy Kaye 11 months ago

    As a resident, taxpayer, and voter in the City of Milwaukee, I support the new sales tax proposal. Our city services are essential to the quality of life in our city. The new sales tax will not be on food or other necessities. Visitors will provide a substantial portion of the revenue we need from the new sales tax. I hope that we can pass this important solution to our city's impending financial crisis.

  • Default_avatar
    Barbara Leigh, Ph.D, Co-founder Milwaukee Public Theatre 11 months ago

    I support the 2% sales tax substitute ordinance as a way to prevent huge cuts in city services that will especially affect low-income residents.

  • Default_avatar
    John Rothe 11 months ago

    While this is a difficult step to take, I believe it's critically necessary for Milwaukee to enact a 2% sales tax increase in order for the city to survive. I don't see any other option but to approve this tax if we want to meet our financial obligations and provide necessary services. This sales tax increase will also barely bring us in line with similar cities around the country. This is the first chance in a long time Milwaukee has had to actually determine our own financial future, and we need to do what we need to do to survive. The first step is approving this tax, as painful as it may be. The next step is changing state law so that we actually receive 100% of the funding from the state taxes we already pay.

  • Default_avatar
    Leah Johnson 12 months ago

    Dear Common Council Members,

    Please vote in support of the 2% sales tax increase! The city needs the revenue from the tax increase in order to fund important social programs.
    Importantly, this money will help the city enact the Climate and Equity Plan. Too often, we hear that it is "too expensive" to respond to the climate emergency. This sales tax increase would help remove that kind of financial barrier to effective action. We know that climate change is real, and that even now it is affecting our lives (think of last month's smoke and last summer's dead fish!) Failure to act--including failure to properly fund that action--is inexcusable.

  • Default_avatar
    Bruce Wiggins 12 months ago

    Support this tax. Important reason for enacting the sales tax:
    1. With no sales tax, there will be drastic cuts in City services and personnel. Including closing libraries, which citizens lobbied against in the last City budget. These cuts will severely negatively affect low-income people and neighborhoods and also make it more attractive for people of means to move and live elsewhere.
    2. The sales tax excludes food, medicine, and other essentials. The sales tax is not as regressive as it seems at first glance.
    3. Out-of-towners will help pay for city services - which they do not now. Conventioneers, attendees at Summerfest and ball games, plays and music events attract many from outside the city and these people will pay the sales tax.
    4. Many plans and initiatives approved by the Common Council will not be able to be implemented. The possibility of a desirable future will be severely hampered.

  • Default_avatar
    Bridget Brown 12 months ago

    Please vote in favor of the sales tax. We have a huge opportunity here to tax people who come into our city for Summerfest, ball games, conventions and more! We need this revenue.