Want to know how local government spending in your communities compares with others? Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance President Todd Barry says you may want to take a look at the 2010 edition of their Municipal Facts guide. “If you’re trying to learn more about a particular community because you’re thinking of moving there or because you live there and want to know more,” says Barry. The publication provides municipal finances for 237 municipalities not including the two biggest – Milwaukee and Madison.
Barry says the intent is not really for comparison, but to give citizens and the media a tool to learn more about local government. “If people ask questions about why is this high or why is this low, that’s great, because it means you’re involving people in talking to local government officials, and that’s a good thing. ” According to state numbers released recently, municipal spending in those 237 cities and villages increased an average of 3.7% per year, for the five years ending in 2008. Street maintenance spending was the fastest-growing area.