Milwaukee Mayor Engages in Verbal Exchange with Suburban County Executive Regarding Sales Taxes

Milwaukee’s Mayor Cavalier Johnson and conservative Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann have exchanged jabs regarding sales tax rates in their respective areas since the start of the year. The verbal sparring intensified when Schoemann encouraged city residents to shop in his district to circumvent the newly implemented taxes.

“I warmly welcome all of our Milwaukee County neighbors to Washington County to shop, dine [and] keep more of your money while doing it,” Schoemann wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on December 29.

Schoemann also encouraged people online to visit “Washington County for the savings, stay for the quality of life!”

“Exhibit A: In the City of Milwaukee, today you will pay an additional $60 for this bedroom set,” he wrote on January 1, linking out to an Ashley Furniture webpage.

On January 2, Johnson reacted to Schoemann, expressing to the local media that he found the executive’s remarks “unfortunate,” considering the essential need for revenue in all communities.

“If folks are looking at a high-quality dinner or a theater or a fine dining experience, they can come here, or go to Cracker Barrel there,” Johnson said.

“[Washington County residents] are getting a boost as this is retaining the Brewers, and it helps a lot of people,” Johnson continued. “[Schoemann] is encouraging people to go to their county; folks will pay more in gas than simply staying [in Milwaukee.]”

In response, Schoemann told Fox News Digital that the “working people like those who enjoy Cracker Barrel are the same people that get hit the hardest by higher taxes.”

“The Milwaukee Mayor can keep his ‘fine dining,’ I’ll stick with the folks who visit places like Cracker Barrel,” Schoemann said.

According to Johnson’s communications director, Jeff Fleming, he conveyed to Fox News Digital: “Maybe Mr. Schoemann should revisit the Mayor’s statements; no one from our side has labeled the people of Washington County as deplorable.”

“In fact, a small portion of the City of Milwaukee is located in Washington County,” Fleming said. “It is odd that a county executive would cast such aspersions on his own constituents.”

“Mr. Schoemann has created a false narrative to escalate this interaction,” he added. “It’s time to drop it.”

As of January 1, both the city and county of Milwaukee implemented two new sales taxes. The city introduced a two percent sales tax, augmenting its existing taxes, while the county raised its sales tax from 0.5 percent to 0.9 percent.