Milwaukee County hires firm to collect delinquent property taxes

Arena financing discussion brought attention to debt collection

Milwaukee County Treasurer David Cullen announced Thursday that he has entered into a contract with Green Bay-based Credit Management Control, Inc., to enhance Milwaukee County’s collection of delinquent property taxes.

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“Although we already collect approximately 95 percent of the property taxes owed to Milwaukee County, it has always been my goal to look at new ways to protect the taxpayers’ hard earned money. This contract will help accomplish that goal,” said Cullen. “The services provided through this contract are expected to return more money to taxpayers for relatively little cost, because the agency is paid on a commission basis.”

During the discussions about funding for the new arena in downtown Milwaukee for the Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele favored a plan for the state to collect unpaid Milwaukee County debts to gather funds to pay for the county’s share of the cost of the arena. However, that provision was removed from the arena funding package that was ultimately approved last year. Instead the legislation simply called for the state to reduce its shared revenue to Milwaukee County by $4 million a year for 20 years to cover the county’s portion of the arena funding.

“This contract with a private company provides many advantages to taxpayers over giving that authority to the State of Wisconsin, Cullen said. “For example, it does not require additional government employees at the state or county, and the cost to the delinquent taxpayer is less than what the State of Wisconsin would charge, because the state would add a large fee on top of what is owed. The action I’ve taken today makes it more likely that the taxpayer can repay their debt and keep their property on the tax rolls. I want to thank County Executive Abele for his assistance with this project. His proposal to help fund Milwaukee County’s $4 million annual commitment to a new arena by enhancing our debt collection process helped jump start this process.”

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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