Arena-hating Milwaukee alderman’s bill to hike sales tax for Bucks arena gets mercifully shot down

Milwaukee alderman Bob Bauman is pushing ahead with his plan for a 1% sales tax hike to help fund a Bucks arena, which he says is a terrible waste of money, and parks and transit, which he likes.

“This is not some radical scheme that is being dreamed up here,” Milwaukee Alderman Bob Bauman said.

Bauman said a 1 percent sales tax increase in Milwaukee County would pay for improvements to parks and transportation and help fund a Milwaukee Bucks arena.

This still seems like a crazy idea, if not a Bucks-themed Trojan horse for parks and other funding, but if the Milwaukee city council is taking it seriously—

A committee voted Monday afternoon to put that idea on hold.

Never mind.


3 comments on “Arena-hating Milwaukee alderman’s bill to hike sales tax for Bucks arena gets mercifully shot down

  1. Sometimes you hit a pop-up and need to make a half-hearted attempt to run to 1st…. maybe the arena is so wonderful people want to pay more sales tax for it.

  2. It’s not like the alderman just thought this up last week. The idea was proposed about two years ago and the business chamber convened a task force with about 50 people to study funding for both an arena and cultural needs. That task force recently said it would propose a tax to support the cultural needs and maybe parks (while being coy about the arena). The draft of the proposal got lots of coverage, but it’s never been proposed.

    Cultural institutions could use some help for capital needs, the county parks have been on life-support for 25 years. Friends groups help maintain some individual parks but deferred maintenance has made a once-renowned system completely jeopardized. About $200 – $300 in immediate capital needs. Voters approved a sales-tax referendum for parks & transit in 2008, but the state would not enact it.

    So it’s probably best to not have an arena cut in line to get funding for what’s urgently needed elsewhere. Yet somehow an arena (attended by people who can buy tickets for $40-$100 or more) will get public subsidies, but parks will continue languishing. Because parks are way more important to average and poor people than to rich people…

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