The Recombobulation Area is a
six-time TEN-TIME Milwaukee Press Club award-winning weekly opinion column and online publication written and published by veteran Milwaukee journalist Dan Shafer. Learn more about it here.
The “Bird on a Wire” podcast series has featured conversations on hope, civility and action, hosted by LuAnn Bird. For Episode Ten of the series, LuAnn and I sat down with Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley.
The full episode will be available shortly, but we’re sharing this six-minute clip from the conversation as part of The Recombobulation Area’s ongoing coverage of the shared revenue and local sales tax bill.
State and local leaders right now have been hammering out a deal about overhauling the state’s shared revenue system, and allowing Milwaukee, both city and county, to raise a local sales tax.
One point of contention within that debate has been on whether that sales tax issue should go to a public referendum or whether it should be voted on by members of the Milwaukee Common Council or Milwaukee County Board.
There’s been disagreement among legislative Republicans on this issue, with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos favoring a public referendum and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu favoring “enabling legislation” that would allow the vote on the sales tax to be taken by Common Council and County Board members, for each respective sales tax.
In our podcast, Crowley said he supports the “enabling legislation.”
“Enabling legislation gives us much more certainty,” he said. “Because if this if it does get voted down, we're going right back to the state to have this conversation.”
Mayor Cavalier Johnson has also expressed support for “enabling legislation” over a public referendum on this issue.
Crowley also explained the precedent in having a vote like this be one conducted by these local legislative bodies, and broke down the changes in the sales tax pitch.
Because if this if it does get voted down, we're going right back to the state to have this conversation.
LuAnn Bird, a resident of Hales Corners, also talked about how a public safety referendum failed to pass by just four votes in that community.
Along with the comments in this six-minute excerpt, Crowley said this of ongoing negotiations:
“It would be unfortunate for us to get rid of a statewide fix because the one thing affecting one community.”
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See more of The Recombobulation Area’s coverage of the shared revenue bill, including the multi-part series analyzing the bill by Marquette Professor Phil Rocco, here.
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Learn more about the “Bird on a Wire” podcast series, and listen to the latest episode, here.
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Dan Shafer is a journalist from Milwaukee who writes and publishes The Recombobulation Area. He previously worked at Seattle Magazine, Seattle Business Magazine, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine, and BizTimes Milwaukee. He’s also written for The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Heartland Signal, Belt Magazine, WisPolitics, and Milwaukee Record. He’s won 17 Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards. He’s on Twitter at @DanRShafer.
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Follow Dan Shafer on Twitter at @DanRShafer.