It's not widely known, but Milwaukee has been forbidden since the 1950's from annexing any more land.
That's because a special statute, the so-called Oak Creek Law, was adopted by the Legislature as a slap at Milwaukee's aggressive land annexation policies, and to help budding communities on Milwaukee's borders achieve independence.
The issue at the time was whether Milwaukee or the unincorporated Oak Creek would 'win' the right to get a new Wisconsin Energy generating station and the payments in lieu of property taxes that utilities paid to the local government where such facilities were located.
Milwaukee had annexed property with the carrot of water service: how ironic in light of today's efforts to buy Milwaukee water and divert it to the suburbs which want no part of Milwaukee's boundaries and social burdens.
Only Milwaukee is forbidden to grow and add to its tax base by state law.
I'd say the time has come to repeal that law and put Milwaukee on an equal footing with other municipalities statewide.