News and Information from the 5th Aldermanic District
Help Track Tax-Exempt Properties
There are plenty of churches and other non-profits located at properties throughout the 5th Aldermanic District that are exempt from paying property taxes. Please click here to see a list of these properties.
By far, most tax-exempt entities are legitimate and provide valuable, life-enhancing services to city residents. However, there is a small percentage which takes advantage of the system (by breaking the law) and leaves law-abiding property owners with the bill.
Across the City of Milwaukee, there has been a steady and significant increase in the number of these tax-exempt properties in recent years. The increase has resulted in a shift of the property tax burden to a fewer number of property owners.
The State of Wisconsin’s Department of Revenue determines whether an entity is granted tax-exempt status, and the City of Milwaukee is charged with following up with each such entity located in the city after tax-exempt status is granted. But the city has limited resources, and this follow up process can sometimes take several months to complete.
You can assist the city in making sure everyone is playing by the rules. If you suspect that a property listed as tax-exempt is not legitimate and is “gaming the system,” please share your suspicions with the city Assessor’s Office. The number to call is (414) 286-3651.
Fluoride: Poison in Our Water
The fluoridation of Milwaukee’s drinking water – a practice begun in 1953 prior to fluoridated toothpastes and mouthwashes being readily available to the public – could end immediately under a Common Council resolution sponsored by Alderman Jim Bohl.
The resolution – introduced at the Common Council’s May 22, 2012 regular meeting – orders “the immediate cessation and prohibition of the introduction of sodium silicofluoride or any fluoride compound into water distributed by the Milwaukee Water Works.” The measure is expected to be taken up during the next Council cycle and if approved, would bring Milwaukee in line with an increasing number of cities that are ending the practice of forced community water fluoridation.
(The extensive information provided here by Alderman Bohl – entitled “Community Fluoride Study” – offers residents the opportunity to become better informed about the issue of drinking water fluoridation and the potential threat that it poses to public health).
Milwaukee Volunteers Needed for Big Brothers Big Sisters
In Milwaukee, adult volunteers are needed for the growing number of children ages 6-15 waiting for a Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) mentor. The majority of waiting children are boys in need of Big Brothers.
Alderman Jim Bohl said hundreds of children are waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister in Milwaukee, including more than 60 who live in the 5th Aldermanic District. “Most of us were fortunate to have loving and devoted parents who taught us how to live and who spent time with us each and every day,” he said. “Today, that’s not always the case, and many boys especially are in need of positive male mentors.”
Amy Chionchio, president and CEO of BBBS of Metro Milwaukee said: “The need for volunteers, especially males, is critical. Your generous gift of mentoring a child can help increase their ability to succeed in school, gain greater self-confidence, make positive choices, and change their lives for the better, forever. ”
BBBS volunteers mentor children one-on-one, three to four times a month, and scheduling is based on the availability of the volunteer. Activities may include going to the park, sharing a meal, working on schoolwork, and attending sporting events, or participating in simple everyday activities and hobbies such as cooking and gardening. Men and women may volunteer individually or as a couple. The minimum age for volunteers is 21.
For information, contact BBBS of Metro Milwaukee at (414) 258-4778, online at www.bbbsmilwaukee.org, or on Facebook or Twitter.
Cooper Park Sewer Lateral Demonstration Pilot Project
In the City of Milwaukee, a joint demonstration project between the city and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) is tackling the largest contributor of damaging basement backups during and after heavy rain events.
Learn more about the project and view the project area map.
At left, Alderman Bohl speaks at the rollout of the sewer lateral demonstration project. He was joined by Jerome Flogel - MMSD Senior Project Manager, Mayor Tom Barrett, DPW City Engineer Jeff Polenske and Alderman Willie Wade.