Mason and Delagrave keeping close watch on state budget

Governor Tony Evers recently released his proposed 2019-21 budget and now the Legislature will debate over what will be included over the next few months, according to a story in the Journal Times.

The Republican-controlled Legislature has stated that much of what was proposed in Evers’ budget will likely not pass. While these debates occur, leaders from local counties will monitor what gets finalized.

Although Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave said it’s still too early in the budget process to assess its promise, Racine Mayor Cory Mason said the proposed budget “makes real improvements for the City of Racine and its residents.”

The proposed budget allows for:

  • Counties and municipalities to raise tax levies by up to 2 percent, regardless of growth.
  • Increase funding for municipal aids by 2 percent starting in 2020.
  • Allow a levy limit adjustment to local governments for shared emergency dispatch centers and create a new levy limit exclusion for new or expanded transit systems that cross municipal or county boundaries.
  • Close the “dark store” loophole for property tax assessments.
  • Limit the percentage of a tax incremental financing (TIF) district’s project costs that can go to cash grants to developers to 20 percent.
  • $1.9 million increase for local road improvements.
  • 10 percent increase in general transit aids
  • $3 million increase each year for specialized transportation for seniors and those with disabilities.

“Increases in shared revenue, more funding for public schools, transportation aid, expanded access to healthcare, and raising the minimum wage are all proposals that help us succeed as a community,” Mason said. “I have often said that the state budget is a values document. While it will take us some time to unpack everything in his proposal, it appears that the governor’s values closely align with those of the city.”