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"It simply is broken:" Report shows Milwaukee's tax structure is resulting in higher city fees, property taxes

A report from the Public Policy Forum shows Milwaukee's tax structure is resulting in higher city fees and property taxes.

The study compared Milwaukee to about 40 other cities of comparable size and it found that Milwaukee relies the most on property taxes of any of them.

The Public Policy Forum says Milwaukee has significantly lower sales taxes than virtually every other city in its peer group which makes those high property taxes necessary.

Mayor Tom Barrett says the lack of other taxes makes it hard to fund public safety.

"Under the current revenue structure it simply is broken, and so we have to find a way to get additional dollars to maintain our police department strength. And I'm not even talking about a major expansion or a major hiring, I'm talking about maintaining our current strength of our police department," said Mayor Tom Barrett.

"We know that this structure is not working well for the city. We know it's not working well for the state. We know it's been in place for almost a century," said Rob Henken, Public Policy Forum President.

The mayor says he hopes this study brings attention to the fact that state law does not allow Milwaukee to raise its sales tax.

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