By Shereen Siewert
A new, interactive tool from the Wisconsin Policy Forum gives users a new way to compare data for all municipalities in Wisconsin using data from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
Municipal DataTool, which was announced this week, provides five years of data on income and income taxes, population, municipal spending, property taxes and values, debt, population, and shared state revenues. Users can compare data for all municipalities within a county or create their own list of up to 10 municipalities in the state.
The most recent data available is from 2017.
For example, data from Wausau show a significant increase in the city’s general obligation debt, as seen below from these snapshots:
The tool is a digital version of MunicipalFacts, previously published annually by one of the Forum’s predecessor organizations, the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. Included is every city and village in Wisconsin, from the smallest village (Big Falls, population 56) to Milwaukee, the state’s largest city.
The new tool also includes a “Key Findings” section that summarizes statewide findings from the data – including a decline in spending despite growing revenues from property taxes and debt in Wisconsin municipalities. While spending has slowed, the data still shows growth in population and income for Wisconsin cities and villages.