September 24, 2009

Spending and debt increase in Wisconsin’s largest cities in past five years

A report by the Wisconsin Taxpayer’s Alliance shows that spending increased 13.4 percent in Wisconsin’s most populated 232 cities — excluding Madison and Milwaukee — between 2003 and 2007. In Madison, spending was up 30.8 percent over the same five-year period, but Milwaukee’s spending increased just 2.4 percent during that time, according to the nonprofit, nonpartisan group.

The report compared per capita spending for 2007 in the 232 communities, plus Madison and Milwaukee. It found that spending per person averaged $805 in the 232 municipalities, with a median cost of $738 per person. There were large variations among the group, with the resort community of Lake Delton spending $3,806 per person, while Howards Grove spent $239 per person.

Madison spent $992 per person, and Milwaukee spent $1,115.

The alliance also looked at municipal debt statewide and found it increased 15.7 percent in the past five years. While five communities had no debt, eight communities had debts of $3,000 per person or more, including Middleton, Mukwonago, Pleasant Prairie and St. Croix Falls.

For more information, view the full Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance report.