Dimitrijevic defends tax increase in proposed Milwaukee County budget

Matt Montgomery

Marina Dimitrijevic. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Dimitrijevic defends tax increase in proposed Milwaukee County budget

CREATED Oct. 26, 2012

MILWAUKEE- Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic is defending a proposed budget that would increase property taxes by nearly $3.35 million.

Dimitrijevic told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure" that 80 percent to 90 percent of those new tax dollars would go towards increasing public safety.

"It's tough to put a price tag on public safety," says Dimitrijevic.

The budget, which still needs to be voted on by the entire Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, would keep the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department in charge of county parks security.

"We think we would get better safety with the sheriff's department," says Dimitrijevic.

However, the budget would shift some 9-1-1 emergency calls from the sheriff's department to the Milwaukee Police Department.

Dimitrijevic also said increasing funding for paramedics, about $500,000, should enhance public safety.

"We really invested in public safety."

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele isn't happy about the increased tax or plan to keep sheriff's deputies in charge of county parks security.

"What I'm not hearing in this discussion is a voice for the taxpayers, a voice for maintaining services," Abele said. "What I'm hearing is it's like Christmas."

Dimitrijevic responded to Abele's quote, saying, "Does it have to be Christmas in Milwaukee County for a real investment in public safety to go on?"

The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on 2013 budget on Monday, November 5.