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Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Municipal spending continues to increase in Wisconsin


Municipal spending in Wisconsin has increased by an annual average of 3.7 percent during the five-year period ending during 2008, according to the nonpartisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX). WISTAX examined spending in the 237 largest municipalities in Wisconsin.

Police protection accounts for the largest municipal expenditure, more than a quarter of all expenses. Spending on street repairs is the fastest growing municipal expenditure.

Residents in municipalities with population over 2,000 paid an average of $849 per person on municipal expenses during 2008. Statewide, the average spent per person on police protection was $221 per person and the average spent per person on street maintenance was $122.

Increasing operating expenses have been funded primarily by local property taxes. WISTAX reports, “Between 2006 and 2010, property taxes in municipalities studied rose an average of 3.8 percent per year, from $1.27 billion to $1.48 billion. Property tax rates rose in nearly 83 percent of the communities studied (during 2009), up from about 62 percent the prior year (2008).”

Debt is also increasing throughout Wisconsin municipalities. WISTAX reports, “During 2004-2008, municipalities increased long-term general obligation debt 15.7 percent (an average of 3.7 percent per year), from $3.6 billion to $4.1 billion. The increase reflects a general trend toward greater debt accumulation among Wisconsin’s largest cities and villages.”

Read more from WISTAX.

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