The following is a statement from Ald. Cavalier Johnson.
It is estimated by VISIT Milwaukee that every Bucks home playoff game this spring translates into a $3 million impact for Milwaukee businesses.
This, of course, is overall great news for Milwaukee hotels, bars, restaurants, cabs/rideshare services and many other businesses.
But I would also like to put this in perspective (and a warning – it’s almost like a gut-punching buzzer beater each time for the City of Milwaukee): The antiquated and outdated taxation model in place in Wisconsin allows the State government to wholly benefit from these Milwaukee-generated dollars while leaving City government outside of the arena.
Let this sink in: Of the $1 billion that Milwaukee sends to Madison every year, the City receives only 66 cents of every dollar back in shared revenue. I believe that translates to a more than $400 million "Milwaukee Dividend" that subsidizes the rest of the state.
Consider all of the people who come into Milwaukee from elsewhere in the state (and even out of state) to attend Bucks games – they drive on our streets, use our water and sewer system, may use our police and fire services etc. and it’s all on the back of the property taxpayers of the City because unlike every other major American city, Milwaukee doesn’t have the ability to generate a local tax.
Starving local governments of additional local tax options is not only an issue in Milwaukee – it is being felt statewide. Furthermore, Milwaukee is the only city of the first class in Wisconsin – literally in a class by itself.
If the state is the parent and cities are kids, then Milwaukee is the adolescent. Any parent knows that you don’t treat your 18-year-old the same way that you treat an 8-year-old.
Time to change Wisconsin’s taxation policies to reflect our current times and conditions.
Bucks in six!