Governor threatens pullout of local aid ...

Wisconsin State Roundup

Published March 1, 2002  | March 2002 issue

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