The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance issued two reports this week, one showing municipal spending per capita declined 3 percent as Walker’s public union reforms and first state budget took effect, and the other measuring the state’s business climate.
According to the group’s annual MunicipalFacts report, cities and villages with at least 2,000 residents spent on average $823 per capita in 2012, down from $848 the year before. Per capita spending grew 2.2 percent on average in the previous six years. Spending dipped 1 percent in 2009, which was the first decline in more than a decade.
Curt Witynski, assistant director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, chalked up the reduction to a combination of factors, including “good management of public dollars by municipal elected officials, Act 10, strict levy limits and several other changes included in Gov. Walker’s first budget, such as the repeal of language requiring municipalities to maintain certain minimum spending thresholds on libraries, police and fire protection” and “the reduction in shared revenue and other intergovernmental programs like transportation aids.”