By Mark Belling, WISN-AM
Republican legislative leaders and Governor Evers have reached a deal that will allow both the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County to drastically raise sales taxes without voter approval in a referendum. In exchange, Evers is agreeing to support a huge increase in funding for school choice in Wisconsin with private schools now getting $12,000 per year for each choice student enrolled.
The deal will be announced later today. It still needs to be approved by both the State Senate and Assembly. The agreement was reached by Evers, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Leader Devin LeMahieu.
To reach the deal, Vos and GOP Assembly members dropped their demands that any increase in sales taxes in Milwaukee be approved by voters in a referendum. Instead, Milwaukee County will be able to raise its sales tax to 0.875% with a two-thirds vote of the County Board and the City of Milwaukee will be able to create a whopping new 2% sales tax if approved by a two-thirds vote of the City Council.
In exchange, Democrat Evers agreed to what may be the largest expansion of statewide school choice ever. Legislative leaders say school choice advocates believe the increase in funding for choice students will mean the number of kids attending schools under the choice program could triple.
June 8, 2023