Public Policy Forum Research

 

The Public Policy Forum aims to build public understanding of local government finances through comprehensive fiscal assessments and annual budget briefs. These reports shed light on the state of governmental fiscal affairs and their associated impacts on valued public services. Recent publications include in-depth financial reviews of Milwaukee County, the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Area Technical College, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, and Milwaukee Public Schools. The Forum has complemented these projects with annual budget reviews for two of the area’s largest taxing bodies, Milwaukee County and the City of Milwaukee. In addition to these published reports, the Forum regularly works with local government agencies, providing more focused analyses in areas that can improve financial strength.

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Publications

Oct, 2016
Our analysis of the City of Milwaukee proposed budget finds the City faces familiar challenges in 2017, including flat intergovernmental revenues and growing Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) expenditure needs. Despite these challenges, we find that...
Oct, 2016
Our analysis of the Milwaukee County Executive's recommended budget focuses primarily on the proposed $60 vehicle registration fee (VRF). We analyze the factors that have created the County's 2017 budget challenges and the alternatives that may...
Sep, 2016
Our new research finds that the City of Milwaukee’s financial outlook is much improved from the depths of the recent economic recession. The report also suggests, however, that “fundamental fiscal change” will be needed if City leaders wish to make...
Sep, 2016
Our new research finds that local streets, highways, bridges, and buses owned by the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County have substantial investment needs, and that those needs will be more difficult to meet as overall financial pressures limit...
Sep, 2016
Our property tax and values report is an annual publication that measures trends in property values and examines how they impact the capacity of local governments and school districts to raise revenues. We find that the region's gross property tax...
Jul, 2016
Our new report analyzes emergency communications and dispatching in Milwaukee County and opportunities for enhanced coordination with the County’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM). We find there are some immediate steps that should be considered...

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