Financial Procedure

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224-R1. While a municipality may not lawfully accumulate large amounts of unappropriated surplus funds, it may retain reasonable amounts of unappropriated funds on hand to meet immediate cash flow needs and may create non-lapsing reserve funds to finance future capital expenditures, such as the purchase of a new fire truck or the construction of a new municipal building. 11/30/11.

228. State law does not set forth a specific date by which a municipal budget must be enacted. We have said in the past that the budget must be adopted by the end of the year because villages and cities operate on a calendar fiscal year. See secs. 61.51(3) and 62.12(1), Stats. For all practical purposes, however, the budget should be adopted by the end of November or, at the latest, the beginning of December. Otherwise, the municipality will be unable to comply with certain other deadlines relating to the property tax process. 8/31/97.

229. Discusses state law governing adoption of municipal budget. 8/31/97.

230. There is a distinction between a city's fire department and the volunteer firefighter's association. Funds generated by or donated to the city's fire department are municipal funds and must be turned over to the city treasurer for deposit in the city's bank accounts. Sec. 62.09(9)(a), Stats. Funds raised by or donated to the firefighter's association are under the exclusive control of the association. The common council has the authority to determine that a large bequest to the city fire department was actually to the volunteer firefighter's association. 9/30/98.

231. Briefly summarizes statutory sections governing disbursement of funds from local treasury and concludes village president should not unilaterally authorize down payment to sellers on land purchase where village's offer to purchase did not address payment of earnest money and board had not previously considered or authorized. 5/12/99.

232. Although Wis. Stat. sec. 66.0617(8) demands that a municipality spend impact fees "only for capital costs for which they are imposed," the legislature did not intend "to make a concrete proposal a prerequisite to" their imposition under existing procedures. Therefore, a municipality may "impose impact fees for a general type of facility, such as an aquatic or youth center, without committing itself to any particular proposal before charging the fees." Metropolitan Builders Association of Greater Milwaukee v. Village of Germantown, Appeal No. 2004 AP 1433 (Ct. App. April 13, 2005) (recommended for publication). 4/29/05.

233. Discusses property tax levy limits and other items affecting municipalities included in the 2007-09 state budget known as 2007 Wisconsin Act 20. 10/31/07.

234. FTC delays enforcement of the FACTA “Red Flags Rules” regulations requiring creditors, including some governmental entities, and financial institutions to implement identity theft prevention measures again to August 1, 2009. 4/30/09.

235. Describes items in the 2009-2011 state budget, 2009 Act 28, affecting municipal finance, including a 3.5 percent cut in funding for the shared revenue program; a levy limit of 3 percent or net new construction, whichever is greater; and a new maintenance of effort for emergency services requirement. Also describes modifications to the expenditure restraint program. 7/31/09.

236. Describes items in the 2011-2013 state budget, 2011 Act 32, affecting municipal finance, including a 7 percent cut in funding for shared revenue; a strict permanent levy limit equal to the percentage growth in equalized value from net new construction or zero; and cuts to the general transportation aids program.  Also describes repeal of the emergency services and library spending maintenance of effort requirements. 6/30/11.

237. Legal comment reviews Wisconsin law governing municipal budgets including the requirements for publishing a budget summary and holding a budget hearing, deadlines for adopting a municipal budget, requirements for amending the budget, non-lapsing reserve funds, the board of estimates budget system, and  reviews the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting’s recommended budget practices. 6/30/13.

237R. Legal comment reviews Wisconsin law governing municipal budgets including the requirements for publishing a budget summary and holding a budget hearing, deadlines for adopting a municipal budget, requirements for amending the budget, non-lapsing reserve funds, the board of estimates budget system, and reviews the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting’s recommended budget practices. 5/29/15.