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LRB-3896/1
ARG:emw
2015 - 2016 LEGISLATURE
December 23, 2015 - Introduced by Representatives Steffen, Swearingen, Allen,
Ballweg, R. Brooks, Gannon, Genrich, Hintz, Horlacher, Kahl, Kitchens,
Kleefisch, Krug, Mursau, Nerison, Nygren, Rohrkaste and Vorpagel,
cosponsored by Senators Cowles, Hansen and Lasee. Referred to Committee
on State Affairs and Government Operations.
AB612,1,4 1An Act to amend 125.51 (3) (e) 1., 125.51 (3) (e) 2., 125.51 (4) (br) 2. and 125.51
2(4) (v) 1.; and to create 125.51 (3) (e) 4., 125.51 (3) (e) 6., 125.51 (4) (br) 1. g. and
3h., 125.51 (4) (e) and 125.51 (4) (u) of the statutes; relating to: municipal
4quotas for retail intoxicating liquor licenses.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill modifies certain aspects of the liquor license quota system and creates
new liquor license quota exceptions.
Current law prohibits a person from selling alcohol beverages at retail unless
the seller possesses a license or permit authorizing the sale. A "Class B" license
authorizes the retail sale of intoxicating liquor for consumption on the licensed
premises and, depending on the type of intoxicating liquor and whether a municipal
ordinance has been adopted, may also authorize the retail sale of intoxicating liquor
for consumption off the licensed premises, subject to certain limitations. Current law
imposes a quota on the number of "Class B" liquor licenses that a municipality may
issue. This quota is generally determined by a formula based on the number of
licenses previously issued by the municipality and the municipality's population.
For purposes of the quota system, a reserve "Class B" license is a "Class B" liquor
license first issued on or after December 1, 1997. Current law provides a limited
number of quota exceptions, including an exception for a full-service restaurant that
has a seating capacity of 300 or more persons and an exception for a capital
improvement area designated by the legislature.

This bill allows a municipality to transfer a reserve "Class B" liquor license to
another municipality that is contiguous with, or within two miles of, the transferring
municipality. The receiving municipality may then issue the license for a premises
within that municipality. The quota of the transferring municipality is decreased,
and the quota of the receiving municipality is increased, for each license transferred.
A municipality may transfer no more than three reserve "Class B" licenses in this
manner. The transferring municipality establishes the issuance fee for the license
after it is transferred, which may not be less than $10,000, and this fee must be
remitted to the transferring municipality. This fee may not be rebated or refunded.
The bill also allows a municipality to designate a geographic area within the
municipality as a premier economic development district, if certain requirements are
met, and to issue two "Class B" liquor licenses in connection with an economic
development project within the premier economic development district. These
licenses are in addition to the "Class B" licenses counted toward the municipality's
quota. The bill includes a definition of an economic development project. The
municipality must establish an initial issuance fee for these "Class B" licenses, which
may not be less than $30,000, and this fee may not be rebated or refunded.
Current law generally requires a municipality to establish an initial issuance
fee for a reserve "Class B" license of at least $10,000. This bill specifies that this fee
may not be rebated or refunded.
This bill also modifies the quota exception for a full-service restaurant that has
a seating capacity of at least 300 persons to require an interior, permanent seating
capacity of at least 300 persons.
For further information see the local fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB612,1 1Section 1. 125.51 (3) (e) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
AB612,2,72 125.51 (3) (e) 1. Except as provided in subds. 2. and 3. to 4. and 6., the annual
3fee for a "Class B" license shall be established by the municipal governing body and
4shall be the same for all "Class B" licenses, except that the minimum fee shall be $50
5and the maximum fee shall be $500. The minimum fee does not apply to licenses
6issued to bona fide clubs and lodges situated and incorporated in the state for at least
76 years.
AB612,2 8Section 2. 125.51 (3) (e) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
AB612,3,14
1125.51 (3) (e) 2. Each municipal governing body shall establish the fee, in an
2amount not less than $10,000, for an initial issuance of a reserve "Class B" license,
3as defined in sub. (4) (a) 4., and, if the municipality contains a capital improvement
4area enumerated under sub. (4) (x) 2. a., for an initial issuance of a "Class B" license
5under sub. (4) (x) 3. and 4., except that the fee for an initial issuance of a reserve
6"Class B" license to a bona fide club or lodge situated and incorporated in the state
7for at least 6 years is the fee established under subd. 1. for such a club or lodge. The
8fee under this subdivision is in addition to any other fee required under this chapter.
9The annual fee for renewal of a reserve "Class B" license, as defined in sub. (4) (a)
101., and a "Class B" license issued under sub. (4) (x) 3. or 4. is the fee established under
11subd. 1. A municipality may not rebate or refund to a "Class B" licensee or a person
12affiliated with the "Class B" licensee or with the license application process,
13including through any grant or tax credit program, the fee paid by the licensee under
14this subdivision for initial issuance of a reserve "Class B" license.
AB612,3 15Section 3. 125.51 (3) (e) 4. of the statutes is created to read:
AB612,3,2416 125.51 (3) (e) 4. Each municipal governing body that transfers a license under
17sub. (4) (e) shall establish the fee, in an amount not less than $10,000, for issuance
18of a reserve "Class B" license after it has been transferred under sub. (4) (e). A
19municipality may not rebate or refund to a "Class B" licensee or a person affiliated
20with the "Class B" licensee or with the license application process, including through
21any grant or tax credit program, the fee paid under this subdivision for issuance of
22the license after transfer. The annual fee for renewal of a reserve "Class B" license
23after it has been transferred and reissued under sub. (4) (e) is the fee established
24under subd. 1.
AB612,4 25Section 4. 125.51 (3) (e) 6. of the statutes is created to read:
AB612,4,9
1125.51 (3) (e) 6. Notwithstanding subd. 2., each municipal governing body that
2has designated a premier economic development district under sub. (4) (u) 2. shall
3establish the fee, in an amount not less than $30,000, for initial issuance of a reserve
4"Class B" license under sub. (4) (u) 3. A municipality may not rebate or refund to a
5"Class B" licensee or a person affiliated with the "Class B" licensee or with the license
6application process, including through any grant or tax credit program, the fee paid
7by the licensee under this subdivision for initial issuance of a reserve "Class B"
8license under sub. (4) (u) 3. The annual fee for renewal of a reserve "Class B" license
9issued under sub. (4) (u) 3. is the fee established under subd. 1.
AB612,5 10Section 5. 125.51 (4) (br) 1. g. and h. of the statutes are created to read:
AB612,4,1211 125.51 (4) (br) 1. g. Add one license for each license transferred to the
12municipality under par. (e).
AB612,4,1413 h. Subtract one license for each license transferred from the municipality under
14par. (e).
AB612,6 15Section 6. 125.51 (4) (br) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
AB612,5,216 125.51 (4) (br) 2. Notwithstanding subd. 1., if the difference between the
17number of licenses determined under par. (b) 1g. and under par. (bm) 1. is 3 or fewer,
18the number of reserve "Class B" licenses authorized to be issued by that municipality
19is the difference between the number of licenses determined under par. (b) 1g. and
20under par. (bm) 1., plus one per each increase of 500 population to the population
21recorded under par. (bm), plus one for each license transferred to the municipality
22under par. (e), minus one for each license transferred from the municipality under
23par. (e),
plus one if the municipality had issued a license under s. 125.51 (4) (br) 2.,
241999 stats., based on a fraction of 500 population but only as long as the total number

1of licenses issued by the municipality equals the maximum number of licenses
2authorized.
AB612,7 3Section 7. 125.51 (4) (e) of the statutes is created to read:
AB612,5,84 125.51 (4) (e) 1. A municipality may make a request to another municipality
5that is contiguous with, or within 2 miles of, the requesting municipality that the
6other municipality transfer a reserve "Class B" license to the requesting
7municipality. If the request is granted, the reserve "Class B" license shall be
8transferred.
AB612,5,129 2. A municipality may transfer or receive more than one reserve "Class B"
10license under this paragraph as long as each transfer meets the requirements of this
11paragraph, but a municipality may not transfer more than 3 reserve "Class B"
12licenses under this paragraph.
AB612,5,2013 3. After transfer of a reserve "Class B" license under this paragraph, the
14municipality receiving the reserve "Class B" license may issue and renew the reserve
15"Class B" license in the same manner as other reserve "Class B" licenses that have
16not been so transferred, except that the fee under sub. (3) (e) 4., not sub. (3) (e) 2.,
17applies upon issuance of the reserve "Class B" license by the receiving municipality
18after the transfer. Upon receipt of the issuance fee from the licensee, the receiving
19municipality shall remit this issuance fee to the municipality that transferred the
20license.
AB612,5,2221 4. Notwithstanding subds. 1. to 3., if a municipality has not issued any licenses,
22the municipality may not transfer any licenses under this paragraph.
AB612,8 23Section 8. 125.51 (4) (u) of the statutes is created to read:
AB612,5,2424 125.51 (4) (u) 1. In this paragraph:
AB612,6,6
1a. "Economic development project" means a project or projects within a premier
2economic development district that, alone or together, have an estimated
3comprehensive new construction assessed valuation increase of at least $20,000,000,
4as established and certified by an independent 3rd-party appraiser or market
5research firm that provides a written report regarding the estimated value to be
6created by the project or projects.
AB612,6,87 b. "Premier economic development district" means a geographic area
8designated under subd. 2.
AB612,6,119 2. A municipality may, by ordinance enacted by at least a two-thirds vote of the
10municipality's governing body, designate a geographic area within the municipality
11as a premier economic development district if all of the following apply:
AB612,6,1312 a. The geographic area does not exceed 40 acres and the boundaries of the
13geographic area are precisely identified in the ordinance.
AB612,6,1714 b. No part of the geographic area is physically separated from the rest of the
15geographic area so that, except for public streets, similar community infrastructure,
16and rivers and other waterways, each portion of the geographic area is contiguous
17with some other portion of the geographic area.
AB612,6,1918 c. The geographic area does not include any land that is zoned exclusively for
19industrial use or zoned exclusively for single-family or 2-family residences.
AB612,6,2520 3. Notwithstanding pars. (am) to (d) and s. 125.185 (5), a municipality that has
21designated a premier economic development district may issue up to 2 "Class B"
22licenses in connection with an economic development project within the premier
23economic development district, in addition to the number of licenses determined for
24the municipality's quota under pars. (b) to (d) and in addition to any license under
25par. (v) or (w).
AB612,7,4
14. A "Class B" license issued under subd. 3. may not be transferred under s.
2125.04 (12) (b) 4. If a "Class B" license issued under subd. 3. is surrendered to the
3issuing municipality, revoked, or not renewed, the municipality may reissue the
4license only for premises located within the premier economic development district.
AB612,7,65 5. A municipality may not designate more than one premier economic
6development district under this paragraph.
AB612,7,97 6. Not more than 2 "Class B" licenses may be issued under this paragraph for
8premises within a premier economic development district, regardless of the number
9of economic development projects within the premier economic development district.
AB612,9 10Section 9. 125.51 (4) (v) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
AB612,7,1211 125.51 (4) (v) 1. A full-service restaurant that has a an interior, permanent
12seating capacity of 300 or more persons.
AB612,10 13Section 10. Initial applicability.
AB612,7,1514 (1) The treatment of section 125.51 (3) (e) 2. of the statutes first applies to
15licenses initially issued on the effective date of this subsection.
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