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ERIC Number: ED513855
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 70
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Milwaukee Area Technical College's Fiscal Condition: Growing Demand, Shrinking Resources. An Independent Third-Party Analysis
Day, Douglass; Allen, Vanessa; Henken, Rob
Public Policy Forum
The Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) is one of the largest local taxpayer-funded entities in southeastern Wisconsin, ranking fourth in assets and budget behind Milwaukee County, the Milwaukee Public Schools, and the City of Milwaukee. The college's fiscal operations are complex and draw on multiple revenue sources, including nearly $150 million in property taxes annually. This report provides an analysis of the fiscal condition of MATC. It constitutes the third in an ongoing series of fiscal assessments of local taxpayer-funded governments and institutions conducted by the Public Policy Forum. The first was an evaluation of the finances of Milwaukee County government published in March 2009, while the second was an evaluation of the City of Milwaukee government published in September 2009. This report also explores the implications of MATC's heavy reliance upon a single revenue source, the property tax. Constituting about 60% of its operational resources, MATC's property tax levy has declined due to the recent downturn in property values, posing serious fiscal challenges to the college and raising questions regarding long-term financial and service solvency. Findings reveal that MATC has enjoyed relative financial stability--particularly when compared to other local taxpayer-funded entities--for many years, but now faces stark challenges. This circumstance is largely attributed to MATC's strong reliance on property tax revenues, which constitute about 60% of its operating funds. As a result of this dependence, MATC's annual budget this past decade has mirrored the ups and downs of the real estate market, with revenues climbing much faster than the rate of inflation from 2005 to 2009, and then falling in the next two years to the extent that the college now has difficulties meeting basic expenditure needs. (Contains 1 figure, 1 chart, 34 tables and 20 footnotes.) [Funding for this paper was provided by the Northwestern Mutual Foundation.]
Public Policy Forum. 633 West Wisconsin Avenue Suite 406, Milwaukee, WI 53203. Tel: 414-276-8240; Fax: 414-276-9962; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: Community; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Public Policy Forum
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin