Saturday, August 11, 2018

Government plays big role in Madison-Milwaukee-regional valuations

[Updated, 11:15 p.m.] So when media write about Madison's property valuations passing Milwaukee's, keep in mind:

*  Even with so-called small government Republicans in charge - - so-called, given their addiction to winner-and-loser defining taxpayer subsidies and wipe outs of local governmental authority - - governments impact population and property value growth in ways both substantial and subtle.

*   Milwaukee has been land-locked since the adoption of a special state law in 1955. Madison's annexation advantage was mentioned in the Journal Sentinel's coverage of the property valuation disparity, but the state law was not.

It's ironic that the law freezing Milwaukee's boundaries was known as the Oak Creek law because the central dispute at the time involved a power generating station there, and today Oak Creek's development is being spurred by major developments by Northwestern Mutual and IKEA.

And if you are familiar with Milwaukee's frozen western border where a billion dollars of government highway expansion is more than half done, you can't help but notice the gigantic medical complex on Milwaukee County land in the City of Wauwatosa, including Children's Hospital which was moved out of Milwaukee's near west side/downtown, taking jobs with it.

*  Highway expansion which is 100% publicly-financed with the encouragement of 100% government-funded regional government planners at SEWRPC working in a suburban setting with a similarly-constructed workforce and philosophy - - and no designated city commissioner among the twenty-one who run it - - has been poured into the Milwaukee area by the billions of dollars to serve suburban commuters while simultaneously removing taxable property from City of Milwaukee tax rolls.
Waukesha County's Pabst Farms residential and commercial development has been assisted by millions of dollars in publicly-financed local TIF funding, and state highway spending which included an expanded I-94 interchange, access roads and roundabouts. 
*  Updated - - And with these distortions, legacy discrimination is further embedded. With remedies that cost money.

*  Also, when government officials cut transit services to Milwaukee, kill rail services or bar through restrictive legislation the formation of transit-coordinating regional authorities, they are also engaging in job protectionism which boosts suburban growth and opportunity at the expense of Milwaukee and its residents.

And how many governmental bodies have had a hand in steering development, property tax base growth, employment and housing through multiple diversions of Great Lakes water to Pleasant Prairie, Menomonee Falls, New Berlin, Waukesha and, soon, to Mount Pleasant for Foxconn - - all outside of Milwaukee?

[Update] And note the expansion of the diverted-eater-demanding City of Waukesha's land mass through annexations, cited in this posting, which, if you read a report's footnotes included, indicates that Waukesha had not turned in planners' memories a single annexation.Again, Waukesha can grow through annexation, while Milwaukee cannot.

*  It's not surprising that the aforementioned SEWRPC would from its Waukesha County base recommend Great Lakes diversions to Waukesha, and to other suburban jurisdictions, while Waukesha County officials have been busy converting farmland to subdivisions as the county's population is projected to grow from 360,000 in 2000 to 509,000 in complete build-out, farm-free mode.

*  And don't forget to factor in other government subsidies and policies which encourage growth at the edges and exurbs, from tax incremental financing to industrial revenue bonding to state and federal property tax and mortgage deductions.

Of course these programs are available in Milwaukee, too, but the city must principally grow vertically inside government-enforced borders, while Madison and other communities have far more latitude and land with which to work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good post -- nice details. Will any major media outlet in Wisconsin lay this out or will they just continue to pit Madison vrs Milwaukee (HINT: Doing so -plays into Scott Walker's hand, so expect to see more Madison vrs Milwaukee garbage -- especially if by some miracle Paul Soglin wins the primary (NOTE: I do think he would be the best of the lot in a Walker debate).

Here's another direct result of the government's role in creating the valuations: The "red ring" that surrounds Milwaukee, essentially cancelling out the city's voters (and increasing apparently with the help of Russia and a rigged system) was entirely created by government handouts.

No one benefited from development welfare than all surrounding communities in the Greater Milwaukee Metro Area. The highways to allow commuters were entirely built on the public's dime -- but that's not all. THe infrastructure to build these communities, water, fire protection, electricity, sewer, and everything else; was all done on the taxpayer's dime. Utility customers across the state saw rate increases so that services could be provided.

The folk in Wisconsin that scream the need for "free markets" and the "private sector" have stolen more subsidies from their parents AND their children. Despite this, the media continues to falsely proclaim that there is no legitimate role for government and that Scott Walker is the answer. Without massive public give-ways, there would be no suburban base that is used, by hook or crook, to skew Wisconsin elections.

Remember the 14.000 "found votes" when it appeard that Joanne Kloppenber defeated David Prosser of Choke-A-Palooza fame? He was credited (without any documentation that it was legitimate) with 10,859 of those votes and then proclaimed the winner.
The hypoceracy is just stunning, but follow the money and it all makes sense -- republicans continue to rely on public funds to stuff their wallets.