By now, most citizens in Greater Milwaukee have become aware of the possible need for new public investment in the region's major cultural facilities, such as the Milwaukee County Zoo, the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, and the Milwaukee Public Museum. Marquette University Law School and the Public Policy Forum have designed this simulation in order to give you the opportunity to formulate your own plan to address that need.

According to a recent report by the Public Policy Forum, cultural facilities and parks owned by Milwaukee County need $246 million in capital investment over the next five years. The same report also cites substantial funding needs faced by private cultural organizations — like the Milwaukee Symphony and Milwaukee Ballet — as well as major entertainment venues, like the Wisconsin Center.

But identifying infrastructure needs and challenges is one thing, and addressing them is another. While many would agree that having a robust array of attractive cultural and entertainment assets is important to our region, there is less agreement regarding the role of public funding to support such assets, and the types of public funding sources to utilize.

This simulation game illustrates the choices involved in determining which cultural, entertainment, and related needs merit consideration of new or enhanced public funding, and how to construct a financing package that will fairly and effectively do the job. Its purpose is to educate the public and enhance community discussion. No one is tabulating the results, but we do give you the opportunity to share your funding plan with friends and colleagues via e-mail or social media.

Of course, we recognize that some citizens will not want to spend any additional public dollars on the needs we describe in this simulation. Those who feel that way can select a "No New Funding" option and have the same opportunity to share their plan.

Step 1 » Proposed Funds: ${{ proposal.yearly_amount_priorities | number }}

In constructing your funding plan, you will be able to choose items from two categories of expenditures. The first is Capital Investments, in which you can select a lump sum dollar amount that reflects the amount of total capital investment you wish to make in a particular project or set of projects. The second is Annual Operating Support or Grants, in which you can select an annual funding amount to support the operations of a particular entity or entities. For purposes of our simulation, we will assume that annual funding amounts will remain in place for a 10-year timeframe.

Capital Investments
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Annual Operating Support or Grants (for a 10 Year Period)
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Step 2 » Funding Sources: ${{ proposal.yearly_amount_fundingsources | number }}

In determining revenue options to pay for your plan, you can choose among a variety of different fees and taxes. To make the simulation realistic, you should make sure that your revenues equal or exceed your expenditures (though not by a lot). You can also choose to levy your revenue choices either in Milwaukee County alone, in Milwaukee County plus the "WOW counties" (Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington), or in each of those counties plus Racine County. However, because the assets under consideration are located in Milwaukee County, we do not give you the option to tax only the suburban counties, or to tax them at higher levels than Milwaukee County.

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County Raise Tax By Total
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I, {{ || 'Your name' }}, believe that no additional public dollars are warranted to address cultural, entertainment, and related needs in southeast Wisconsin.

Proposed Funds: ${{ proposal.total_amount_priorities | number }}

Funding Sources: ${{ proposal.total_amount_fundingsources | number }}