|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 23, 2004|
||Press Secretary Carlene Orig|
Mayor Barrett Holds the Line on Property Taxes
Milwaukee—Mayor Barrett today signed his first budget since taking office in April, 2004. His City budget for 2005 includes a legislative tax levy freeze and a reduced property tax rate. "I promised the citizens of Milwaukee that I would hold the line on property taxes and I am proud to say I have kept my word," stated Mayor Barrett. "This sends a strong message to the Governor and legislators in Madison. We've kept our end of the bargain, now they must keep their end of the bargain by not cutting the State's Shared Revenue Program."
The final City budget for 2005 freezes the property tax levy while maintaining key City services. Mayor Barrett has allocated $186 million dollars for the Milwaukee Police Department. When the department presented its budget to Mayor Barrett, the allocation was $167 million. Mayor Barrett increased the Milwaukee Police budget $19 million more than what was originally allocated. The final budget preserves the number of uniformed police officers and fully funds one recruitment class, bringing the number of classes to three in a 20 month period. This will help further reduce crime. "The issue that received as much attention as taxes is making our City safer. My final budget allows us to hold the line on property taxes and provide adequate police services."
Mayor Barrett today signed his final budget after the full Common Council voted to sustain his three budget vetoes. Had the Council voted to override the Mayor's vetoes, the tax levy would have increased by 2.37% or $743,000.
"I am thankful to Alderman Michael Murphy, other members of the Finance and Personnel Committee and the rest of the Common Council for supporting my City budget for 2005," said Barrett.