Economy & Business
1:00 am
Thu June 12, 2014

UWM Poll: Residents Favor Higher Minimum Wage, Oppose State Funding for Basketball Arena

Credit Wisconsin Economic Scorecard Q2 2014

Center for Urban Initiatives & Research Director Joseph Cera talked with Ann-Elise Henzl about the latest Wisconsin Economic Scorecard

When it comes to covering the projected shortfall in Wisconsin's transportation budget, 31% favor toll roads while 29% prefer delaying road projects.

The latest survey, released Thursday, found that 75% of registered Wisconsin voters think the state should raise its minimum wage and 70% believe the wage should be tied to the inflation rate.

As for helping build a new basketball arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, 72% of registered voters oppose the use of state tax dollars, while 58% don't want state money used for infrastructure improvements that might be needed for a new sports venue, such as updated roadways.

The poll's findings regarding a new arena don't discourage Milwaukee Bucks fan, Frank Madden, editor of the sports digest brewhooops.com. He believes public opinion would change if more private money is pledged and says new team owners Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry are soliciting additional investors. Edens, Lasry and former Bucks owner Herb Kohl have pledged $200 million. The estimated cost of a new downtown arena is upwards of $400 million.

Madden says residents may also be more likely to offer tax dollars, if a new venue for the Bucks is more than a basketball arena. "If it's a multi facility that has restaurants, bars and shopping and things like that involved as well, then obviously you can make more than just something that sports teams and their owners would want to put money into," Madden says.

The NBA has given the Bucks until 2017 to build a new arena here, otherwise, the league will take ownership of the team.

The Wisconsin Economic Scorecard is conducted quarterly by UWM's Center for Urban Initiatives and Research.