Study: Milwaukee County faces huge deficits

    A new study from the Public Policy Forum commends Milwaukee County for taking steps to reduce health care and incarceration costs while pursuing public-private partnerships.
    However, the study still finds the county faces a potential $20 million to $45 million deficit, a gap that could balloon to as much as $126 million by 2016.
    After successive years of trimming staff and discretionary and administrative expenditures, there is "little to cut in those areas," the report says. For a long-term solution, the county may have to look at a combination of tax increases, program cuts and reductions in fringe benefits for employees, the report says.
    The Greater Milwaukee Committee, which commissioned the report, will work with a coalition of residents and organizations to develop recommendations for solving the budget crisis.
    "The time to act is now," said GMC President Julia Taylor. "The time of short-term ‘solutions’ and one-time ‘fixes’ is at an end. Without significant structural changes, the County faces the need to eliminate whole areas of vital services to our community.
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