Monday, February 11, 2013

Sales Tax Priorities

In 2008, members of the Milwaukee County Board led a charge to have a referendum put on the ballot regarding a 1% sales tax which would have created a dedicated funding source for the county's transit, parks and EMS systems.   The referendum, which was put to the entire county and not just select parts of it, passed.

Sadly, Governor Jim Doyle and the legislature dinked around and never did anything with it.  Because of that, the parks system is failing, the transit system is on the verge of collapse and the EMS system had their budget slashed.

Fast forward five years and there is talk again of a sales tax, but not for the transit, parks or EMS systems.

It's to build the Milwaukee Bucks a new arena.

And where the former county executive, Scott Walker, was actively working against the first sales tax proposal, the current county executive, Chris Abele is all for it:
On Monday, Abele was interviewed by John Mercure, afternoon propagandist at WTMJ-AM. Mercure asked Abele about the proposed 1% sales tax for a new arena.

Abele, an admitted owner of season tickets for the Bucks, gushed over the idea. Throwing all his anti-tax statements out the window, he couldn't emphasize enough how much he liked this idea. He did not say whether he supported it because it would make his friends even richer or if it was that he wanted to have a new arena to sit in for his season tickets.

The really sickening part about this is that even while Abele was on the air to promote the sales tax for the new millionaire's playground, people were gathering to discuss the impending collapse of the Milwaukee County Transit System. If a dedicated funding source is not found and implemented in the next year, the transit system could face up to a 30% cut in service and/or a huge fare increase.
As proof, Abele posted this picture on his official county executive page*, showing how "he stands up for Milwaukee":

It looks like he has court side seats, doesn't it?

Yet I could not find a picture of him on a bus.

It should make one pause to wonder, who does Abele think he represents?  It sure isn't the work-a-day people.

By the way, Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic made a point of taking the bus to each of her "Chat with the Chair" events.  Let that one soak in while the gentle reader considers who is on whose side.

*Is a picture of Abele at a Bucks game really appropriate for an official county site?


  1. Straight out of the Trent Reznor/GOP school of governance- "There is no you, there is only me."

    And it's not like the Bucks grab a huge out-of-town group like Brewers games do, so I can't even compare it to the much smaller Miller Park tax.

  2. Yes, it's so nice to see yet more handouts for the elite. You know, those same ones who call the poor the takers. It's a much better use of taxpayer dollars to fund a sports arena that only the non-poor can enjoy, than it is to fund a transportation system for those who can't afford a car or the insurance and gas for that car.

    And yes, I'm being sarcastic :-)

  3. Hey, is that geek in the glasses standing in front of Spike Lee? Where's Jack Nicholson? Rihanna and Chris Brown? Oh, wait. This is Milwaukee. The elite here are very big frogs in a tiny, tiny pond.

  4. Quoting from your own blog post as if it's some independent source: awesome.

    1. Apparently you are either too lazy or too incompetent to follow links. I feel bad for you. Neither is a good way to go through life.