Notables were on different sides of Milwaukee tax plan



(The Center Square) – The plan to share $500 million with local governments across the state, and allow Milwaukee and Milwaukee County to raise their taxes passed with some notable votes.

A number of southeast Wisconsin conservative Republicans were among the lawmakers who voted against the Republican-backed shared revenue proposal late Wednesday night. That includes Reps. Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls, and Chuck Wichgers, R-Muskego.

On the other side of the aisle in the upper chamber, voting for the plan were Senate Minority leader Melissa Agard, D-Madison, Sen. LaTonya Johnson, D-Milwaukee, and four other Senate Democrats.

Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, joined seven Republicans in the chamber voting against the shared revenue plan. She, like many of the Republicans, rejected the shared revenue agreement because it allows Milwaukee and Milwaukee County to raise taxes without going to voters.

“It’s no because it does not address the needs of the city,” Taylor said. “It’s no because it doesn’t allow the individuals who are in the city to weigh in. It’s no because it’s on the backs of the poorest individuals in the state and arguably almost in the nation.”

Republicans at the Capitol acknowledged that the package was not what everyone wants.

“This was a task that we had known for years, decades, needed to be fixed,” said Rep. Tony Kurtz, R-Wonewoc, who co-wrote the legislation. “Today we are finally fixing it. I understand some of you don’t think it’s perfect. But this is what compromise looks like.”

The package, which includes a school funding plan and several spending restrictions, now heads to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

His tweet said, “It’s my job as governor to always work to do the right thing when it matters most. We’re securing over $1 billion for our kids and our schools to improve reading and kids’ mental health while making historic investments in our communities. This is a win for Wisconsin.”

He is expected to sign the package into law.

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