At Tuesday’s Franklin Common Council meeting Mayor Steve Olson said that he had reservations about the sales tax increase proposal being sought by Milwaukee’s mayor, county executive, and every municipal leader in Milwaukee County.
Olson told the Common Council that at a meeting last week of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Council (ICC) he suggested the payout to municipalities of any sales tax increase be based, not on population as is now stated in drafted legislation for the state Legislature to consider, but on disposable income in each municipality.
Good idea. But it was received at the ICC meeting from the other suburban leaders like someone in the church pew in front passing gas.
Supporters want the referendum, if one should ever be approved by the state that is necessary, be in April of 2020, to then take advantage of the sales tax revenue brought in from Democrat National Convention-goers coming to Milwaukee. Olson suggested it go on the ballot later, in November of 2020, when more people go the polls in a presidential election. Nice try by Olson, but it was a hard smash to shortstop thrown out easily at first.
Despite Olson’s issues with the effort to get a referendum on the ballot Olson still said he’s in favor of a referendum going to voters. Not a surprise from our mayor, but still another check mark in the “Olson Disappointment” column.
At Tuesday’s Common Council meeting Olson said he needed and wanted feedback and direction. Led by the most vociferous opponent, Franklin Alderman Steve Taylor, council members expressed they want no part of this march to pursue a referendum.
I think the Franklin council members know that every single municipal leader in the county is going to support lobbying the state Legislature to have a referendum on a ballot to approve a 200% sales tax referendum, including Mayor Olson. The council definitely has more common sense than the mayor on this one.
So, given the mayor wanted feedback, the council expressed:
They do not support a sales tax increase. We have not heard publicly that explicit language from our mayor who is more than welcome to comment here to clarify.
If there is a referendum it be in November of 2020, not April.
That there be a sunset on any sales tax increase.
The cash grab to pay for the city of Milwaukee’s lead pipe problems be eliminated from any additional sales tax revenue. Good luck with that one.
Abele and Barrett are playing suburban leaders. Sadly, they’re falling for it for several reasons, including $$$ with no guarantee where that money will go or how it will be used.
State legislative leaders need to talk to reporters ASAP and shoot this idea down, once and for all.