Liberal Definition of "Tax Relief"
In it, the editorial board of the newpaper explains that a 0.5% sales tax enacted 17 years ago was in fact, property tax relief. By their logic, since the money raised was spent, and didn't come from property taxes, it was "property tax relief". The flip side of the argument; if they hadn't collected the money, it wouldn't have been spent; isn't raised. The editorial board at that paper has issues with the idea of not taking and spending money.
The source of the argument is an advisory referendum slated for November to ask the voters to raise the sales tax again, so that property taxes won't have to go up to fund transportation and parks.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, who's vetoed just about every tax hike is against it, looking instead for spending cuts, including jobs, to keep both systems running. Walker is a conservative who took office after the board was caught in a pension scandal a while back. He keeps getting reelected because he keeps swimming upstream against a liberal board, and it's media backers to keep taxes low. He looks for efficiency, not another money grab.
Now, as far as the actual subjects of the tax, transit and parks, there is of course another solution to their funding issues, charge the people who use them more money. Add a quarter to bus fares, add a buck to the charges for park usage, like golf, swimming etc. The arguement against this is that having low cost parks and transit attracts people to a city.
While this is somewhat true having high taxes drives them away just as fast. The county already has high property taxes, and a higher than average sales tax because of it's 0.5% addition from 1991, plus another sales tax add-on that's paying for Miller Park. Oh yeah, and it's losing population.
Good luck to Walker and his allies in defeating this come November. Maybe a ballot box ass kicking will wake the rest of the Milwaukee County Board up to the fact that the residents there are sick of being taxed.