Early Voting for Public Safety Referendum Opens on Monday


From the city clerk’s office …

Absentee voting in the Clerk’s Office for the Nov. 7 public safety referendum special election will be Oct. 23-Nov. 3.

Hours, availability and more information on voting can be found on our website

If you are unavailable during in-person absentee voting and wish to have a ballot mailed, or to check your polling location for voting on election day, please visit MyVote. https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/VoteAbsentee

Learn more about the referendum on our city website.


Filed under South Milwaukee

5 responses to “Early Voting for Public Safety Referendum Opens on Monday

  1. Joe Felcht

    “…homeowners would pay an additional $52 per year ($35 going toward paramedics and $17 going toward police) for every $100,000 of their home’s value ***starting in 2018 and beyond***…”

    I would prefer a one-time increase for 2018, and then revisit the funding problem in each future year. If voters agree to this annual increase in perpetuity, there is no reason for the city to look for ways to reduce costs and improve productivity. I spoke to a few people who thought this is a one-time increase, and were happy to vote for it. But when I explained that this is an automatic increase every year, they were confused and against it.

    With school and county taxes sure to increase in future years (let’s say an average of $50 per year), along with this public safety increase, some homes could expect a 40-50% increase in taxes in 10 years, and it just goes up more from there. That is not sustainable.

    And a key comparative statistic in the brochure was not highlighted enough. I think it was Greenfield compared to SM (if not Greenfield, it was one of the cities on the list right next to SM). Greenfield and SM have similar police staffing and similar populations, but Greenfield’s police calls were nearly double that of SM. So if Greenfield can service twice as many calls with the same number of officers, why can’t SM?

    I applaud our police officers and other first responders, and I want to live in a city that I feel safe in. But unchecked annual tax increases is not the long-term answer to funding these important services. And voting for the annual increase removes any incentive for the city leaders to find alternate funding and productivity.

    Thank You.

    • Thanks for the comment. I wanted to correct you on the percentage increase concern. A “yes” vote would increase the city portion of the tax bill by approximately 5.7% next year. That new tax levy would then be subject to annual state levy limits, capping future increases at the amount of growth (almost 0 for us), with exceptions. So it’s not a 5+% increase year; your taxes will not increase by 50% in 10 years.

    • VoteNo

      To be clear, the referendum question is not asking for a 5.7% city property tax increase each year going forward, however it is asking for a PERMANENT 5.7% increase starting next year. That means that any future tax increase will be based on a 5.7% increased baseline rather than the current level today assuming the referendum passes. It is a one time increase, but it is not a one year increase. The increase is permanent!

      Joe’s comment is correct that this lets the common council off the hook and takes the pressure off by giving them more money and not forcing them to roll up their sleeves and find real ways to reduce costs and become more efficient. It is human nature.

      This is a false choice. The budget needs to be prioritized so that public safety is adequately funded. Threats to cut that funding if the referendum does not pass goes against the survey that was sent out where the second highest number of responses was to maintain public safety funding and cut funding in other areas. The city claims it is using the survey results as the reason it is having this referendum. Making cuts, “potentially including public safety” as was indicated in the informational flyer goes against the survey responses and is nothing more than a scare tactic. We need to hold the elected city leaders accountable on this.

  2. Melanie

    They sure as hell better not.

    • Melanie

      It is just plain dishonest, the elderly who will be voting yes do not have any idea they are voting for a permanent increase of taxes, most do not have iPads and computers, and if they do it is to chat with far-away grandchildren. Rest assured every one will get a raise next year, especially our over worked street department.

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