'Opportunity to really invest back into our community': Crowley signs 2024 Milwaukee County adopted budget

NOW: ’Opportunity to really invest back into our community’: Crowley signs 2024 Milwaukee County adopted budget

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- For the first time in over two decades, Milwaukee County has a budget with a projected surplus.

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley signed the budget Wednesday morning. The projected surplus of $31.6 million a direct result of Wisconsin Act 12, which was passed by the Wisconsin State Legislature and allowed a sales tax increase of 0.4% in Milwaukee County.

"Because of the passing of Wisconsin Act 12, Milwaukee County will see its first surplus in over two decades," Crowley said.

"Really, gives us the opportunity to really invest back into our community and back into our residents."

The budget includes a $21.5 million decrease in property tax levy, the largest decrease in county history. It also includes $4 million for affordable housing development, $16 million for Milwaukee County Transit System, a $25 million investment into Parks facilities and expanding access to communication technology for individuals incarcerated in Milwaukee County facilities.

The new Concordia 27 development, where Crowley signed the budget, will also benefit from the funding.

"The 2024 Adoptive Budget includes millions of dollars for affordable housing developments around the county that is needed now more than ever, including right here at Concordia 27," Crowley said. "I am proud that we are supporting this mix-used development that will provide a network of resources for the community."

Heidi Chada is the Vice President of Employment and Community Services at Centers for Independence. The group provides thousands of meals and opportunities throughout Milwaukee County each day and will be utilizing a new kitchen space located inside Concordia 27 to expand those services.

"What we're doing is collaborative," Chada said. "If the County had not committed these funds to make sure the housing component is viable, we would have some definite challenges."

Crowley is grateful to be working with a surplus rather than having to worry about what programs to cut.

"Rather than determining which potential cuts would have been least harmful, Milwaukee County now has the opportunity to deploy the most beneficial investments for all of our residents," Crowley said. "Together, we are one county with one vision for a stronger, healthier Milwaukee."

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