MILWAUKEE — The final tally of the Milwaukee Common Council’s vote in favor of the city’s 2% sales tax was 12 to three, paving the way for what is expected to be a $193 million annual revenue increase that would help the city avoid a possible financial crisis.
The three dissenting votes came from Alders Andrea Pratt, Mark Chambers and Milele Coggs with Chambers claiming that his constituents in the second district were overwhelmingly opposed to the sales tax.
Alderman Stamper, who eventually voted in favor of the 2% sales tax, made a clear statement in opposition to the state legislators who drafted the bill which cleared the way for this sales tax vote:
“It’s clear that they are not our friends, and if they are not our friends, then they are our enemies.”
For Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic of Milwaukee’s 14th District, the deciding factor in her favorable vote was the positive impact this tax would have on preventing budget cuts for essential city services.
The Milwaukee Common Council needed a two-thirds vote in order to pass the sales tax. Among the key problems that will be addressed through this sales tax are public services and the city’s troubled pension program.
If the sales tax did not pass in the Milwaukee Common Council, budget cuts would ripple down to the city’s police department and fire department, among many other essential services. Alderman Bob Bauman of the 4th District re-iterated the importance of preventing this from taking place.
“The wolf is at the door, we can’t chase the wolf away anymore, and we are dealing with some serious challenges that have to be addressed.”
Now that the Milwaukee Common Council has approved this measure, it’s expected to go into effect beginning with the new year in January 2024. Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson says he expects to sign the measure in the coming days.
This is a developing news story. An update and/or follow-up will be issued if further details are revealed.
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