Legal Articles

The information you obtain on the League’s web site is general in nature and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as and should not be construed as legal advice. Moreover, it is not a substitute for legal advice. While the League’s attorneys are a general resource for our member municipalities, we do not represent any municipalities. Please consult your municipal attorney for matters specifically pertaining to your municipality.

  1. Removal of Officers: Governing Body Procedures and the Recall Procedure

    Can a governing body remove a member who repeatedly fails to show up for meetings? What about a member who always shows up but seems to focus all his or her energy on creating dissent? What about a member who reveals information discussed in closed . . . Claire Silverman, the Municipality August 2018
  2. Determining the Residency of Municipal Officers

    At the time they are elected, members of municipal governing bodies and other local elected officers must be resident electors of the municipality. Common council members representing aldermanic districts must not only reside within the city . . . Claire Silverman, the Municipality July 2018
  3. Special Assessments--A Common Way to Recover Costs of Public Improvements

    Several months ago a state legislator called me into his office to discuss a question he had received from a constituent. The constituent had called to complain about the city charging her a special assessment of over $1,000 for sidewalk and curb . . . Curt Witynski in July 2018 the Municipality
  4. Managing the Risks of Tax Increment Financing

    Tax increment financing (“TIF”) is a local economic development tool that can be an essential ingredient in making a development project happen. However, financing a development project can expose a municipality and its taxpayers to significant . . . Matthew Dregne, Stafford Rosenbaum LLP July 2018
  5. Act 243 Constrains Municipal Development Authority

    The Developers bill (2017 AB 770), so called because it was sought by the Wisconsin REALTORS and the Wisconsin Builders Associations and limits municipal powers to regulate development and recover the cost of serving new development, was signed . . . . Claire Silverman, the Municipality June 2018
  6. The Latest Landlords Legislation--A Description of Act 317

    The following description of municipally relevant provisions in Act 317, the Landlords' legislation, is lifted with minor changes from a memo prepared by Wisconsin Legislative Council Principal Attorney Scott Grosz. The League appreciates . . . Curt Witynski in the Municipality June 2018
  7. Board of Review

    Each year, spring brings a mix of showers and sunshine. Much like the weather, property taxes provide a healthy foundation for funding local government services. To ensure the effectiveness of this process, fair and equitable taxation is essential. Micheal Drea, April 2018 the Municipality
  8. Collecting Room Taxes from Airbnb and other Short-term Rentals

    Despite recent changes made to the room tax law designed to help municipalities receive room taxes from short-term rental properties advertising on Airbnb and other online services, the reality is that little has changed in Wisconsin. Curt Witynski, April 2018 the Municipality
  9. Municipal Regulation of "Click and Collect" Alcohol Sales

    “Click and Collect” describes a practice where consumers order online from a retailer’s website and then pick up their orders at a local store. The use of Click and Collect . . . Claire Silverman, the Municipality March 2018
  10. An Overview of Municipal Library Board

    his article revises and updates an article written and published in the February 2014 issue of The Municipality. Wisconsin’s libraries are a tremendous resource, important to the democratic process, and play a critical role . . . . Claire Silverman, the Municipality February 2018
  11. Legislature Curtails Municipal Conditional Use Permit Authority

    The Wisconsin legislature enacted major changes to local zoning authority laws in 2017 that were urged and promoted by developers but described by its legislative supporters as a “homeowners” bill of rights. Nonetheless, the laws passed. . . . Daniel Olson the Municipality February 2018
  12. Public Records Law Application to Individual Local Officials

    Most public records requests are handled by municipal clerks, treasurers, administrators, or department heads, and involve records that are routinely created or kept by municipalities in the normal course of business. Claire Silverman, the Municipality January 2018
  13. Agenda Control and Presiding Officers

    Although agendas are not required by any state law, many governmental bodies, by custom or procedural rule, use them. They serve important practical purposes by providing a structure that facilitates efficient and effective use of meeting time . . . . Daniel Olson December 2017
  14. Items in the State Budget Affecting Municipalities

    After nearly three months of legislative delay, Governor Walker signed the 2017-2018 state budget bill into law as Act 59 on September 21. Like all state budgets, Act 59 is a mixed bag for municipalities, although positive changes slightly . . . . Curt Witynski in the Municipality November 2017
  15. When is a Street a Street?

    When is a street a street? Although the question posed by this title may sound like a riddle or the lead-in to a joke, being unable to answer that question is no laughing matter when the outcome is important to those with a stake in the issue. Claire Silverman, the Municipality November 2017
  16. Is Your Website Accessible to People with Disabilities?

    Local governments are increasingly finding that municipal websites are a cost-effective and efficient way to make information available to the public 24-7 without the direct assistance of government personnel. Not surprisingly . . . . Claire Silverman, the Municipality October 2017
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