Exposing Walker's shell game | WisCommunity

Exposing Walker's shell game

Why do we have to read the Milwaukee Biz Blog to find this out?

  County Supervisor John Weishan explains how Scott Walker has diverted money from maintenance of capital projects, and what that has meant:

Milwaukee County currently has a 0.5-percent sales tax that, at its inception in 1991, was to be used to pay for debt service on capital projects or to pay cash for those capital projects.

In 2002, shortly after being elected County Executive, Scott Walker was successful in changing that county ordinance, enabling him to divert millions in sales tax revenue from the capital budget to the operating budget.

Over the last eight years, more than $112 million in sales tax revenue has been diverted from capital fund to the operating budget. This is similar to the State of Wisconsin using transportation fund dollars for social programs, something that Scott Walker has publicly criticized.

Scott Walker’s diversion of capital dollars is a major reason for the distressed condition of many Milwaukee County’s assets, including county trunk highways and parkway roads...

In 2006, during County Executive Walker’s first attempt to run for governor, he shifted $21 million in sales tax revenue from the capital budget to the operating budget. This deception was an effort to mask the need for a property tax increase or painful cuts to social services and parks. At the time, $21 million was the equivalent of an 8-percent increase in the property tax levy.

Walker is a guy just trying to figure out how to get through the next five months, not planning for the next five years. And Milwaukee County taxpayers will be paying the price long after he's gone, into private life, we hope.


July 14, 2010 - 3:07pm