XIARTICLE XI.
CORPORATIONS
XI,1 Corporations; how formed. Section 1. [As amended April 1981] Corporations without banking powers or privileges may be formed under general laws, but shall not be created by special act, except for municipal purposes. All general laws or special acts enacted under the provisions of this section may be altered or repealed by the legislature at any time after their passage. [1979 J.R. 21, 1981 J.R. 9, vote April 1981]

Section 499.02 (4), 1973 stats., providing that the Solid Waste Recycling Authority's existence may not be terminated while it has outstanding obligations, does not violate the Wisconsin Constitution's reserved power provisions because: 1) The Authority is not a corporation created pursuant to section 1, and section 1 is directed only to laws enacted under the provisions of that section; and 2) any attempt to terminate the authority while it has outstanding obligations would contravene the impairment of contract clauses of both the U.S. and state constitutions. Wisconsin Solid Waste Recycling Auth. v. Earl, 70 Wis. 2d 464, 235 N.W.2d 648.

Creation of the citizens utility board is constitutional. 69 Atty. Gen. 153.

XI,2 Property taken by municipality. Section 2. [As amended April 1961] No municipal corporation shall take private property for public use, against the consent of the owner, without the necessity thereof being first established in the manner prescribed by the legislature. [1959 J.R. 47, 1961 J.R. 12, vote April 1961]

XI,3 Municipal home rule; debt limit; tax to pay debt. Section 3. [As amended Nov. 1874, Nov. 1912, Nov. 1924, Nov. 1932, April 1951, April 1955, Nov. 1960, April 1961, April 1963, April 1966 and April 1981]
XI,3(1) (1) Cities and villages organized pursuant to state law may determine their local affairs and government, subject only to this constitution and to such enactments of the legislature of statewide concern as with uniformity shall affect every city or every village. The method of such determination shall be prescribed by the legislature.

XI,3(2) (2) No county, city, town, village, school district, sewerage district or other municipal corporation may become indebted in an amount that exceeds an allowable percentage of the taxable property located therein equalized for state purposes as provided by the legislature. In all cases the allowable percentage shall be 5 percent except as specified in pars. (a) and (b):

XI,3(2)(a) (a) For any city authorized to issue bonds for school purposes, an additional 10 percent shall be permitted for school purposes only, and in such cases the territory attached to the city for school purposes shall be included in the total taxable property supporting the bonds issued for school purposes.

XI,3(2)(b) (b) For any school district which offers no less than grades one to 12 and which at the time of incurring such debt is eligible for the highest level of school aids, 10 percent shall be permitted.

XI,3(3) (3) Any county, city, town, village, school district, sewerage district or other municipal corporation incurring any indebtedness under sub. (2) shall, before or at the time of doing so, provide for the collection of a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the interest on such debt as it falls due, and also to pay and discharge the principal thereof within 20 years from the time of contracting the same.

XI,3(4) (4) When indebtedness under sub. (2) is incurred in the acquisition of lands by cities, or by counties or sewerage districts having a population of 150,000 or over, for public, municipal purposes, or for the permanent improvement thereof, or to purchase, acquire, construct, extend, add to or improve a sewage collection or treatment system which services all or a part of such city or county, the city, county or sewerage district incurring the indebtedness shall, before or at the time of so doing, provide for the collection of a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the interest on such debt as it falls due, and also to pay and discharge the principal thereof within a period not exceeding 50 years from the time of contracting the same.

XI,3(5) (5) An indebtedness created for the purpose of purchasing, acquiring, leasing, constructing, extending, adding to, improving, conducting, controlling, operating or managing a public utility of a town, village, city or special district, and secured solely by the property or income of such public utility, and whereby no municipal liability is created, shall not be considered an indebtedness of such town, village, city or special district, and shall not be included in arriving at the debt limitation under sub. (2). [1872 J.R. 11, 1873 J.R. 4, 1874 c. 37, vote Nov. 1874; 1909 J.R. 44, 1911 J.R. 42, 1911 c. 665, vote Nov. 1912; 1921 J.R. 39S, 1923 J.R. 34, 1923 c. 203, vote Nov. 1924; 1929 J.R. 74, 1931 J.R. 71, vote Nov. 1932; 1949 J.R. 12, 1951 J.R. 6, vote April 1951; 1953 J.R. 47, 1955 J.R. 12, vote April 1955; 1957 J.R. 59, 1959 J.R. 32, vote Nov. 1960; 1959 J.R. 35, 1961 J.R. 8, vote April 1961; 1961 J.R. 71, 1963 J.R. 8, vote April 2, 1963; 1963 J.R. 44, 1965 J.R. 51 and 58, vote April 1966; 1979 J.R. 43, 1981 J.R. 7, vote April 1981]

Authorizing municipalities to issue revenue bonds to finance industrial development projects, is not an improper delegation of authority in a matter of statewide concern. When the purchase price of property to be acquired is payable exclusively from income or profits to be derived from the property purchased and a mortgage or lien attaches only to that property, no debt is created in violation of this section of the constitution. State ex rel. Hammermill Paper Co. v. La Plante, 58 Wis. 2d 32, 205 N.W.2d 784.

This section does not invalidate provisions of the Solid Waste Recycling Authority Act dealing with required use of the authority's facilities, user charges, and condemnation powers, since the purpose of the act involves a matter of statewide concern. Wisconsin Solid Waste Recycling Auth. v. Earl, 70 Wis. 2d 464, 235 N.W.2d 648.

The provision of s. 144.07 (1m) [now s. 281.34 (1m)], that voids a DNR sewerage connection order if electors in an affected town area reject annexation to the city ordered to extend sewerage service, represents valid legislative balancing and accommodation of 2 statewide concerns, urban development and pollution control. City of Beloit v. Kallas, 76 Wis. 2d 61, 250 N.W.2d 342.

No conflict was found between an ordinance and a statute dealing with related subject matter when the former was paramountly in the local interest and the latter was of statewide concern. State ex rel. Michalek v. LeGrand, 77 Wis. 2d 520, 253 N.W.2d 505.

Coexisting ordinances and statutes prohibiting the same conduct is discussed. State v. Karpinski, 92 Wis. 2d 599, 285 N.W.2d 729 (1979).

Refusal by a city to provide sewerage service to a portion of a town unless inhabitants agreed to annexation of that portion did not violate antitrust law. Town of Hallie v. City of Chippewa Falls, 105 Wis. 2d 533, 314 N.W.2d 321 (1982).

A city ordinance that regulated lending practices of state chartered savings and loans with regard to discrimination was preempted by state statutes. Anchor Savings & Loan Association. v. Madison EOC, 120 Wis. 2d 391, 355 N.W.2d 234 (1984).

Liberally construing home rule authority, a city is not authorized to institute a public safety officer program. Local Union No. 487 v. Eau Claire, 147 Wis. 2d 519, 433 N.W.2d 578 (1989).

Antitrust law demonstrates the legislature's intent to subordinate a city's home-rule authority to its provisions. Unless legislation at least impliedly authorizes a city's anticompetitive action, the city has violated antitrust law. Amer Med. Transp. v. Curtis-University, 154 Wis. 2d 135, 452 N.W.2d 575 (1990).

A school district did not incur indebtedness by entering into a lease-purchase agreement for a new school when the district, by electing not to appropriate funds for the following fiscal year's rental payment, had the option to terminate the agreement with no future payment obligation. Deick v. Unified School District of Antigo, 165 Wis. 2d 458, 477 N.W.2d 613 (1991).

Tax increment financing bonds that a city proposed to issue under s. 66.46 [now s. 66.1105] constituted debt under this section and were subject to the city's debt limits. City of Hartford v. Kirley, 172 Wis. 2d 191, 493 N.W.2d 45 (1992).

An agreement to purchase park land whereby a county is to make deferred payments from an existing nonlapsing account, sufficient to cover the entire obligation, secured by mortgaging the property to the grantor, would not create an obligation within the ambit of ch. 67 nor constitute a debt in the context of this section. 63 Atty. Gen. 309.

Local government units cannot include the value of tax-exempt manufacturing machinery and specific processing equipment and tax exempt merchants' stock-in-trade, manufacturers' materials and finished products, and livestock in their property valuation totals for non-tax purposes, such as for municipal debt ceilings, tax levy limitations, shared tax distributions, and school aid payments. 63 Atty. Gen. 465.

There is no constitutional prohibition against increasing either municipal tax rate limitations or increasing the municipal tax base. However, a constitutional amendment would be required to increase municipal debt limitations. 63 Atty. Gen. 567.

"Home rule" discussed. 69 Atty. Gen. 232.

Home rule applicability to libraries and library systems contrasted. 73 Atty. Gen. 86.

The housing of out-of-state prisoners by the state, a county, or a municipality may only be as authorized by statute, which is currently limited to the Interstate Corrections Compact, s. 302.25. OAG 2-99.

Conflicts between state statute and local ordinance in Wisconsin. 1975 WLR 840.

XI,3a Acquisition of lands by state and subdivisions; sale of excess. Section 3a. [As created Nov. 1912 and amended April 1956] The state or any of its counties, cities, towns or villages may acquire by gift, dedication, purchase, or condemnation lands for establishing, laying out, widening, enlarging, extending, and maintaining memorial grounds, streets, highways, squares, parkways, boulevards, parks, playgrounds, sites for public buildings, and reservations in and about and along and leading to any or all of the same; and after the establishment, layout, and completion of such improvements, may convey any such real estate thus acquired and not necessary for such improvements, with reservations concerning the future use and occupation of such real estate, so as to protect such public works and improvements, and their environs, and to preserve the view, appearance, light, air, and usefulness of such public works. If the governing body of a county, city, town or village elects to accept a gift or dedication of land made on condition that the land be devoted to a special purpose and the condition subsequently becomes impossible or impracticable, such governing body may by resolution or ordinance enacted by a two-thirds vote of its members elect either to grant the land back to the donor or dedicator or his heirs or accept from the donor or dedicator or his heirs a grant relieving the county, city, town or village of the condition; however, if the donor or dedicator or his heirs are unknown or cannot be found, such resolution or ordinance may provide for the commencement of proceedings in the manner and in the courts as the legislature shall designate for the purpose of relieving the county, city, town or village from the condition of the gift or dedication. [1909 J.R. 38, 1911 J.R. 48, 1911 c. 665, vote Nov. 1912; 1953 J.R. 35, 1955 J.R. 36, vote April 1956]

A purchase of land by a city for industrial development that is leased with an option to buy or to renew the lease with a minimal rent did not violate this section. State ex rel. Hammermill Paper Co. v. La Plante, 58 Wis. 2d 32, 205 N.W.2d 784.

XI,4 General banking law. Section 4. [As created Nov. 1902 and amended April 1981] The legislature may enact a general banking law for the creation of banks, and for the regulation and supervision of the banking business. [1899 J.R. 13, 1901 J.R. 2, 1901 c. 73, vote Nov. 1902; 1979 J.R. 21, 1981 J.R. 9, vote April 1981]

XI,5 Referendum on banking laws. Section 5. [Repealed Nov. 1902; see 1899 J.R. 13, 1901 J.R. 2, 1901 c. 73, vote Nov. 1902.]
Loading...
Loading...
Wisconsin Constitution updated by the Legislative Reference Bureau. Published Oct. 3, 2014. Click for the Coverage of Annotations for the Annotated Constitution. Report errors at (608) 266-3561, FAX 264-6948.