Full County Board approves Milwaukee County budget for 2012

Living with more risk, and living within your means were just two of the issues under debate as the full Milwaukee County Board tackled the budget Monday.

Some of their debate centered around proposals to cut back on law enforcement, in an effort to keep pressure off of taxpayers.

The County Board passed the 2012 budget Monday night, though it is not the budget Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele wanted.

However, the budget that passed does not include the kind of spending Abele feared.

As it stands, taxes are poised to increase slightly, but Abele says he's going to do what he can to prevent that.

It was an effort to bolster public safety, but some describe it as a move to raise taxes.

The budget that passed Monday night could potentially lay off more than 100 sheriff's deputies. Abele had proposed 133 cuts, as part of his effort to keep the pressure off of taxpayer wallets.

"I'm not going to raise taxes again. That's the easy way out. Our budget showed that you don't have to do that," Abele said.

County leaders passed a measure, saving 27 law enforcement jobs, at the cost of more than $1.5 million. They opted to raise para-transit fees less than Abele had suggested, and not slice as deeply into parks funding.

Abele says the spending adjustments will mean he will have to veto $6.2 million in spending.

It's all in an effort to satisfy the delicate balance between maintaining public safety, transit, parks, and the means to fund each of them.

If the budget stays as is, the owner of an average city of Milwaukee home would pay about an additional $3 in county property taxes.

The County Board is expected to weigh in on Abele's veto decisions one week from this Wednesday.