Steve Olson = Tom Barrett?

Kind of sounds that way.

“In my time as mayor no city budget has presented more challenges or more frustration than this one.”
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett this week

This is an “exceedingly difficult budget.”
Franklin Mayor Steve Olson quoted on

Barrett is proposing a 3.7% property tax levy increase.

Olson is proposing a 3% property tax levy increase.

Both Barrett and Olson partially blame the state.

At least Olson isn’t calling for cuts to police and fire.

Still, Olson’s proposed budget and rationale for it is disappointing.

The mayor and his administration emphasize city taxes (not school) haven’t increased in five years. Thus this year’s proposed 3% increase, if applied to those past five years would amount to a measly .6% increase each year.

In other words, the lowly taxpayer should be appreciative, keep quiet, and sit back and take it (as Franklin taxpayers collectively and historically have done for years and years).

The mayor in his budget proposal claims there is no fiscally prudent or viable way to freeze city taxes for a sixth year. Maybe so.

But here’s the real kicker that should not and probably won’t be forgotten by even the most apathetic of Franklin property taxpayers.

The mayor’s proposed budget increase comes on the heels of many, many taxpayers getting blasted with massive increases in their property reassessments who feel the increases were unjustified. They can’t be blamed if they sense they were set up.

I find it ironic that when Olson’s predecessor proposed property tax increases, then-Alderman Olson objected.

A 3% increase may not sound like much, but it’s way beyond the inflation rate that is almost zero.

Consider wages that remain stagnant and it becomes increasingly more difficult for taxpayers to pay, a concept that continues to be lost on the part of those with taxing power in Franklin. Note we still don’t know what our school board has in store.

Last year Mayor Olson proposed a miniscule property tax increase. It went away after Alderman Steve Taylor proposed budget cuts that were approved, resulting in a property tax freeze. I’m not sure a similar scenario will play out this year.

So the ongoing holdup of the taxpayers by the city, or school board, or both doesn’t change.

I’ll close with a comment I read on Facebook not too long ago that applies here.

It gets old after awhile.

Oh, and this doesn’t help either.

One thought on “Steve Olson = Tom Barrett?

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (10/02/17) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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