Why I’m Standing with Taxpayers

By Scott Walker

When I was elected to serve as Milwaukee County Executive, I promised to spend the taxpayer’s money as if it was my own.  I’ve kept that promise, and I’ll keep it if I’m elected your next governor.

For eight consecutive county budgets, I have cut spending and vetoed tax increases because it was the right thing to do.  Over the last eight years, we’ve worked together to maintain funding for essential government programs without increasing the property tax levy from the previous year, cut debt by over 10%, and cut the county work force by over 20%.

We’ve scaled back government without sacrificing quality.  In fact, our county parks just won the gold medal for being the best parks system in the nation, and Mitchell International Airport has seen the expansion of Air Tran, the arrival of Southwest, and just this week Republic Airlines announced over 800 jobs will be moved to Milwaukee County.

It’s time to tackle our state finances in the same way – through creativity and by doing more, with less.  The last thing Wisconsin needs is more of the Doyle-Barrett style of governing that taxes more to fill budget shortfalls.

This September I presented my 2010 Milwaukee County budget and asked the County Board to work with me to rein in government spending and lower our debt without cutting essential services or raising taxes.  We proposed having private contractors perform services like cleaning the courthouse, and we sought to create a balance between the benefits received by public and private sector employees.

The County Board reviewed and amended my proposal, and I vetoed their counter-proposals.  While some of my vetoes were overridden, I was able save taxpayers over $2.6 million dollars while maintaining public safety and keeping taxes low.

At a time when so many people are struggling to pay the bills and so many employers are cutting jobs, its critical we hold the line on taxes to help keep families and jobs here.  We must send a clear message that government is willing to make the same tough decisions that families and employers must make.  That’s why I used my veto power in Milwaukee County, and that’s the type of governing we need to see in our counties, in our cities, and in Madison.

I am proud to stand with the taxpayers.  For eight years I have been fighting for the citizens of Milwaukee County against tax increases.  And I’ll fight for citizens of Wisconsin who have had enough of Doyle’s taxes if I’m elected governor.

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