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Governor threatens pullout of local aid ...

Wisconsin State Roundup

March 1, 2002

Governor threatens pullout of local aid ...

As part of his plan to balance the state budget, Governor Scott McCallum has suggested that the state phase out aid to local governments. In a double whammy, he also proposed limiting property tax increases that would ultimately prevent local governments from raising those taxes to replace the lost state revenue.

The state's two-year budget is expected to fall short by $1.1 billion through June 30, 2003, when the budget period ends. And local governments expected to receive more than $1 billion in aid annually during the budget period. McCallum's proposal cuts $350 million of aid during each of the next two years, and the state would stop all aid to counties, cities and villages in 2004.

Such a dramatic move would have a sizable impact on Superior, for example. The city would lose more than $1 million in 2002—and by 2004 about $9 million, or nearly 40 percent of Superior's annual budget.

With vocal opposition coming from across the state, just how far McCallum's plan will go remains to be seen.

Kathy Cobb