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The League-L 

This is the second edition of the League-L, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities legal bulletin for cities and villages. It will bring you up to speed quickly on recent court decisions, arguments and cases that impact local government operations and is sent only when there is legal news you need to know.  

The April 13, 2016 League-L: 

  • Has Your Municipality Received an Application to Put Poles in the Right-of-Way?
  • Change to Alcohol Laws Prohibits Economic Rebates/Grants for Reserve License Initial Issuance Fees
  • Sales Tax Exemption for Material Sold to Contractors for Inclusion in Municipal Projects

Has Your Municipality Received an Application to Put Poles in the Right-of-Way?

In response to questions received from a large number of member municipalities regarding applications received from a company named Wisconsin Networking Technology, LLC (WITN) to place utility poles in the local right-of-way (ROW), the League retained Attorney Anita Gallucci (Boardman & Clark) to prepare a memo.   Attorney Gallucci’s memo addresses WITN’s right to place poles in the ROW, a municipality’s right to regulate WITN’s proposed use of the ROW, what sort of regulations a municipality may apply to WITN’s use of the right of way, and what a municipality may do if it has not already adopted ROW regulations.  Attorney Gallucci’s memo and a 1998 model ROW ordinance created by the former Wisconsin Alliance of Cities (now the Urban Alliance) is available on the League's website in Legal News: http://www.lwm-info.org/1266/Legal-News

Change to Alcohol Laws Prohibits Economic Rebates/Grants for Reserve License Initial Issuance Fees

2015 Wis. Act 286, which creates two new options for communities that have no liquor licenses available under the state imposed quota system, but seek to accommodate a new restaurant or bar wanting to locate in the community, amended Wis. Stat. sec. 125.51(3)(e)(2) to prohibit municipalities from providing economic rebates/grants for reserve initial issuance fees which begin at $10,000.  Many municipalities enacted ordinances allowing for an economic rebate or grant of a portion of that money back to the licensee but, effective June 1, 2016, municipalities are precluded from rebating or refunding the $10,000 reserve license initial issuance fee.    .

Sales Tax Exemption for Material Sold to Contractors for Inclusion in Municipal Projects

2015 Wisconsin Act 126, allows contractors to purchase construction materials directly on behalf of municipalities without paying the sales tax.  The Act took effect on January 1, 2016.  The League has received lots of questions about how municipalities and their contractors implement the new more efficient option for obtaining a sales tax exemption offered by Act 126.
 
The Department of Revenue's (DOR) January Tax Bulletin addressed many of the implementation and documentation questions that contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers may have about their purchases for tax exempt projects. Click here for a copy of the key pages in the DOR bulletin.
 
Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin (AGC) has worked with the Department of Revenue and the Wipfli CPAs and Consultants firm to develop two documents that answer many of the questions that are still frequently asked about the new law.  The League thanks AGC for giving us permission to re-publish their FAQs and information provided in the links below.
 
Frequently asked questions about Act 126
 
FAQs about Underground Utilities, Street and Road Related Items under Act 126

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