Milwaukee County Board Flexes Muscle; Uses Veto Override to Raise Taxes & Spending

MacIver News Service | November 15, 2012

[MILWAUKEE] When Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele received the county board’s budget proposal, he used his veto pen to nix a number of increases in spending and taxes. In response, the county board decided to use their erasers.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Milwaukee County Board voted to override 23 of Abele’s 25 vetoes.

As a result, taxes will once again rise in Milwaukee County, and spending will too.

One of the bigger points of contention between the board and Abele centered around who should fit the bill for county employees’ health care costs.

By overriding Abele’s veto, taxpayers are now stuck with a bill that’s expected to exceed $3.5 million due to $1,800 payments to each county employee’s Fiscal Savings Account.

Additionally, the board chose to reject Abele’s plan for County and City Park patrols, costing taxpayers an additional $1.5 million according to the county executive’s office.

Earlier this week, MacIver contributor James Wigderson wrote a column that examined the fight between the board and Abele.

In his column, Wigderson wrote that if the Milwaukee County Board wanted to be entrusted with more power in the day-to-day operations of county government, they would have to prove themselves as worthy stewards of taxpayer dollars.