City of Milwaukee Treasurer Spencer Coggs announced this week that he has donated $19,680 to 10 community organizations in the City of Milwaukee. Coggs, who was elected City Treasurer last spring, learned that by law he could continue to serve as a Wisconsin State Senator while holding the position of City Treasurer. By retaining the State Senate seat, the Senate Democrats kept the majority for the remainder of 2012. However, prior to his election as City Treasurer, Coggs committed to the voters that he would give the take home pay from his Senate salary for the remainder of the term to charitable organizations.
Treasurer Coggs was proud to announce that he donated $19,680 to the following organizations:
• Calvary Baptist Church
• Garnett Coleman Fund
• Wisconsin Black Historical Museum
• Greater Galilee Baptist Church
• Joe Sims Milwaukee Striders Track Club
• Milwaukee Urban League
• Zion Hill Baptist Church
• Milwaukee Boys & Girls Clubs
• Mt. Zion Baptist Church
• Brotherhood of Black Firefighters
“It is my hope that my contributions can help these organizations to continue their positive impact on our community,” stated Coggs.
Treasurer Coggs made history in 2012 by being the first African American elected City Treasurer. Previously Milwaukee had never elected a person of color to any of the executive City-wide positions including Mayor, City Attorney, City Treasurer, or City Comptroller. At his inauguration, Treasurer Coggs promised to “give services that are accountable to the citizens of Milwaukee, and that will save money for the City.”
Since taking office as City Treasurer, Mr. Coggs has instituted a number of innovative changes. He has streamlined procedures to save money, eliminated outdated legal language in the statutes, and sought to create a more user-friendly property tax collection system. For example, Treasurer Coggs developed the “Pay at the Bank” payment program so that citizens could visit one of 13 neighborhood US Bank branches across the City in order to pay their property taxes. This program reduced the crowds of people who generally came down to City Hall in December to pay their property tax bill. It decreased the traditionally long lines in the City Hall Rotunda, and it helped to move along the snarled downtown traffic. The Pay at the Bank system saved the citizens time and money in the form of lower transportation costs and fewer parking tickets.
As Treasurer Coggs’ first tax collection season has just concluded, he is now concentrating on financial literacy and the continuous problem of Milwaukee’s foreclosure epidemic. “In this economic downturn we have too many citizens who are financially uninformed and who are un-banked or under-banked,” said Coggs. Treasurer Coggs also pledged to work with Milwaukee Common Council members to develop effective strategies to prevent the rampant rate of City foreclosures.