Walker should let voters have voice about tax plan

    Editor’s note: Milwaukee County Board Chairman Lee Holloway, along with Supervisors John Weishan Jr. and Gerry Broderick, wrote the following joint statement in response to the County Executive Scott Walker’s decision to veto an advisory referendum on whether to enact a 1-percent sales tax dedicated to support property tax relief; Milwaukee County parks, recreation and culture programs and services; transit services; and public safety. The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors will consider an override of Walker’s veto at its next meeting, Thursday, Sept. 27, at 9:30 a.m. in room 200 of the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

    A large majority of the County Board approved putting this issue on the Feb. 19, 2008, ballot. We are extremely disappointed that County Executive Scott Walker has once again prevented the public from expressing their opinion on this important issue.

    This referendum is similar in spirit to the taxpayers bill of rights, championed by Republicans in the State Legislature, which would have included a referendum on any tax increase at the State level.

    The voters should decide whether they want to decrease their overall tax burden in Milwaukee County. This sales tax referendum would let Milwaukee County voters decide whether to collect more revenue from non-county residents who visit Milwaukee County’s attractions, but don’t pay property taxes. We question whether the county executive is really representing the interests of people who actually live in Milwaukee County.

    Perhaps that’s why he chose to have (Tuesday’s) news conference at a Home Depot store located on the Milwaukee-Waukesha County border.

    With this veto, the county executive is overriding the voice of the people. Whether they want to vote in favor of this proposal or against it, the county executive is barring them the opportunity to do so.

    We would prefer that the people decide, rather than one arbitrary person.




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