The Racine County Board has unanimously given Milwaukee officials a “forget about it,” on the county’s proposed inclusion in any plan to finance a new NBA arena complex in Milwaukee, to replace the aging Bradley Center.
“It’s very outrageous that in an economic time like this, that they would even consider bringing us into their fold,” said Supervisor Dan Sharkozy. “We got foreclosures. . . we got people in bankruptcy, we got high unemployment.” He said Racine County doesn’t want to be “Milwaukee County’s piggy bank,” to help pay for “a playground for millionaires.”
The vote against helping to build a new Milwaukee sports arena comes as the Metropolitan Association of Commerce is planning a fact-finding committee, to reportedly include membership from the 5-county metro Milwaukee area.
“I think it’s imperative that if we were going to spend any more money whatsoever, that we should put it toward education, and not more entertainment,” said Supervisor Q.A. Shakoor. “That is the key, and I just think that it would be waste of taxpayer money.”
Supervisor Ken Hall called it corporate welfare, and suggested an alternative funding scheme. “I have no problem with Milwaukee getting creative, and doing something like Green Bay has done with the Packers, but we certainly want no part in that, unless perhaps as individual citizens might wish to be shareholders in a private venture like that.”
The board’s resolution passed Tuesday night states that Racine County formally opposes introducing any new tax to support a potential basketball arena, and further opposes extending the current Miller Park tax to cover Bucks arena expenses.
Janet Hoff, WRJN