SECTION 1 –GENERAL OVERVIEW2013 RECOMMENDED BUDGETFiscal Synopsis
The County Executive's 2013 Recommended Milwaukee County Budget calls for total expendituresof $1,348,226,146, an increase of $120,932,043, or 9.9 percent, compared to the 2012 AdoptedCounty Budget. The recommended property tax levy is $275,370,836, the same as the 2012 levy.The recommended tax levy is comprised of two components: debt service levy of $53,083,478 andoperating levy of $222,287,358. The recommended tax levy is $3 million under the estimated taxlevy cap, and perhaps as much as $9.1 million under if other factors are considered.
(See Tax LevyCap later in Section 1)
The Recommended Budget allocates $121.2 million in expenditures for capital improvements, with$78 million for the airport and $43.2 million for general government. General obligation bonding is$34.7 million, slightly below the self-imposed bonding cap of $34.8 million. The two Countyapproved bond issuances in 2009 as well as the two in 2010 take advantage of stimulus funding(lower cost bonds) provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). As part of the plan to “double up” on debt in 2009 and 2010, no new general obligation debt was issuedin 2011 and 2012.
(See Capital Improvements later in Section 1 of the Overview)
Position Reductions – “At-Risk” for Layoff
The 2013 Recommended Budget continues the trend of reducing the number of funded positions inorder to reduce costs. The 2013 Recommended Budget includes 4,572 funded FTEs, a reduction of 254, or 5.3 percent, from the 4,826 FTEs in the 2012 Adopted Budget. The FTE reduction is net of position creates, abolishments and unfunding.The Department of Human Resources indicates that approximately 108 employees are at-risk of layoff at the time of this Overview’s publication. Of this amount, 91 are in the Office of the Sheriff and 17 are in other departments. Included in the Office of the Sheriff total are 37 Deputy Sheriff 1 positions. The actual number of layoffs that may occur is determined by further attrition,retirements, and job transfers.
The prominent theme in the 2013 Recommended Budget appears to be largely one of “stay thecourse,” or a continuation of overall funding policies in previous years, as well as maintaining anumber of efforts and initiatives from the 2012 budget. The Recommended Budget does include a“program outcome” initiative (which actually is a more active variation on what the County has donein the past). But other than this proposal and some new capital projects, there are few new policyinitiatives in the budget proposal. The budget primarily was balanced by the shift of health benefitcosts to employees, the use of the 2011 budget surplus and additional cuts to the Office of theSheriff.First among such “stay the course” policies is a property tax freeze, a continuation of many previousexecutive budgets. The 2013 Recommended County Budget does not raise property taxes beyond the2012 level and generally does not raise fees. Since 2003, Milwaukee County Executives have