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59.60(3) (3)Fiscal year. The fiscal year in every county is the calendar year.
59.60(3m) (3m)Accounting and budgeting procedure. Every accounting and budgeting procedure that is applied under this section shall comply with generally accepted accounting principles for government as promulgated by the governmental accounting standards board or its successor bodies or other authoritative sources.
59.60(3s) (3s)Biennial budget procedures.
59.60(3s)(a) (a) A county with a population of 750,000 or more may adopt a biennial budget by implementing the procedures under this subsection and using the procedures under this section. If a county chooses to adopt a biennial budget, it shall adopt such a budget in an odd-numbered year for the next 2 fiscal years that follow immediately the year in which the budget is adopted.
59.60(3s)(b) (b) For a county to proceed under this subsection, the board shall adopt a resolution or enact an ordinance stating its intent to adopt a biennial budget. Once a resolution is adopted or an ordinance is enacted, such an action takes effect and may not be reconsidered or repealed, except as provided in par. (c).
59.60(3s)(c) (c) A board that has adopted a biennial budget procedure as provided in this subsection may return to the use of an annual budget procedure if the board, by a two-thirds majority vote, adopts a resolution or enacts an ordinance stating its intent to adopt an annual budget.
59.60(3s)(d) (d) A board or a committee authorized by the board may, at any time, decrease appropriation amounts in a biennial budget.
59.60(3s)(e) (e) In October or November of an even-numbered year, the board may change any appropriation or revenue amount in relation to the 2nd year of the biennial budget by a simple majority vote of the members-elect.
59.60(4) (4)Submission of budget requests. On or before the date that the director specifies, but not later than July 15, each department shall submit to the director in the form that the director specifies:
59.60(4)(a) (a) The department's estimated revenues and expenditures for the fiscal year for the ensuing budget period.
59.60(4)(b) (b) The estimated cost of any capital improvements pending or proposed for the ensuing fiscal year and for the next 5 fiscal years.
59.60(4)(c) (c) Any other information that the director requests.
59.60(5) (5)Compilation of budget requests. Not later than August 15 of the year in which the budget is enacted, the director shall submit to the county executive or county administrator and to the board:
59.60(5)(a) (a) The budget estimates of each department.
59.60(5)(b) (b) A statement of principal and interest becoming due on outstanding bonds and on other financial obligations.
59.60(5)(c) (c) An estimate of all other expenditures, including proposed expenditures on capital improvements that are not financed by bonds.
59.60(5)(d) (d) An estimate of anticipated issues of new bond obligations during the ensuing fiscal year, plus a statement of the funds required for maturities and interest payments on these issues.
59.60(5)(e) (e) An estimate of funds required as an appropriation for contingencies.
59.60(5)(f) (f) An estimate of revenue from all other sources.
59.60(5)(g) (g) A complete summary of all the budget estimates and a statement of the property tax levy required if funds were appropriated on the basis of these estimates. In determining the property tax levy required, the director shall deduct from the total estimated expenditures the estimated amount of revenue from sources other than the property tax levy and shall deduct the amount of any surplus at the close of the preceding fiscal year not yet appropriated. The board, by two-thirds vote, may adopt a resolution before the adoption of the tax levy authorizing the use of the surplus fund in whole or in part as a sinking fund for the redemption or repurchase of bonds or to provide funds for emergency needs under sub. (9), but for no other purposes, except as provided in sub. (13).
59.60(6) (6)
59.60(6)(a)(a) The county executive or county administrator shall review the estimates of expenditures and revenues and hold public hearings on such estimates at which the head or a representative of every county department shall appear and give information with regard to the appropriations requested, including work programs, other justification of expenditures, and other data that the county executive or county administrator requests. The county executive or county administrator shall make changes in the proposed budget that in the executive's or administrator's discretion are considered desirable or proper.
59.60(6)(b) (b) On or before October 1, and after the hearings required under par. (a), the county executive or county administrator shall submit the amended proposed budget to the board. The amended proposed budget shall be the executive's or administrator's budget and shall include all of the following:
59.60(6)(b)1. 1. A simple, clear, general summary of the detailed contents of the budget.
59.60(6)(b)2. 2. A comparative statement by organization unit and principal object of expenditure showing the actual expenditures of the preceding fiscal year, the appropriations and estimated expenditures for the fiscal year currently ending, and the recommended appropriations for the budget period next succeeding.
59.60(6)(b)3. 3. A comparative statement of the actual revenues from all sources including property taxes during the preceding fiscal year, the anticipated revenues and the estimated revenues for the fiscal year currently ending, and the anticipated revenues for the budget period next succeeding including any surplus from the preceding fiscal year not otherwise appropriated under sub. (9).
59.60(6)(c) (c) The anticipated revenues for the budget period next succeeding shall be equal in amount to the recommended appropriations.
59.60(6)(d) (d) The executive's or administrator's budget shall be accompanied by a message prepared by the county executive or county administrator which shall outline the important features of the budget plan and indicate any major changes in policy or in recommended appropriations or revenues as compared with the fiscal year currently ending, and shall set forth the reasons for such changes.
59.60(7) (7)Publication of budget and public hearing. The board shall refer the executive's or administrator's budget to the finance committee and such committee shall publish as a class 1 notice, under ch. 985, a summary of the executive's or administrator's budget and comparative figures together with a statement of the county's bonded indebtedness, in the 2 daily newspapers having the largest circulation in the county, and shall make available to the general public reprinted copies of the summary as published. The publication shall also state the date, hour, and place of the public hearing to be held by the board on such executive's or administrator's budget. The board shall, not fewer than 14 days after publication of the summary of the executive's or administrator's budget, but not later than the first Monday in November of each budget period and prior to the adoption of the property tax levy, hold a public hearing on such executive's or administrator's budget, at which time citizens may appear and express their opinions. After such public hearing, the finance committee shall submit to the board its recommendations for amendments to the executive's or administrator's budget, if any, and the board shall adopt the budget with such changes as it considers proper and advisable. Subject to sub. (7e), the board of a county with a population of at least 750,000 may not adopt a budget in which the total amount of budgeted expenditures related to the compensation of county board members, and to any other costs that are directly related to the operation and functioning of the county board, including staff, is greater than 0.4 percent of the county portion of the tax levy for that year to which the budget applies. When so adopted, the sums provided shall, subject to the provisions of sub. (8), constitute legal appropriations and anticipated revenues for the ensuing year.
59.60(7e) (7e)Milwaukee county budget cap. The 0.4 percent budget limitation for a county with a population of at least 750,000 that is described in sub. (7) does not apply to any of the following elements of the county's budget:
59.60(7e)(a) (a) Any costs related to pension and health care payments for retired county officers, employees, and their families.
59.60(7e)(b) (b) The costs for the salary, health benefits, and pension benefits of county board supervisors and the county board chairperson for any term that begins before April 2016.
59.60(7e)(c) (c) Any costs associated with duties performed by the county clerk under s. 59.23 (2).
59.60(7e)(d) (d) Any costs associated with a department created under s. 59.52 (32).
59.60(7e)(e) (e) Space rental that is attributable to the county board.
59.60(7m) (7m)Publication of budget summary. Notwithstanding sub. (1), this subsection applies to all counties with a population of 750,000 or more. Any such county shall publish, in the same manner as the summary that may be published under sub. (7), a summary that includes all of the following:
59.60(7m)(a) (a) The total amount of budgeted expenditures for the current year.
59.60(7m)(b) (b) The proposed amount of total expenditures and the percentage change compared to the amount in par. (a).
59.60(7m)(c) (c) The property tax levy for the current year.
59.60(7m)(d) (d) The proposed property tax levy and the percentage change compared to the amount in par. (c).
59.60(8) (8)Transfers of appropriations.
59.60(8)(a) (a) At the request of the head of any department, and after receiving the recommendation of the county executive or county administrator, the finance committee may, at any time during the budget period, transfer any unencumbered appropriation balance or portion thereof between principal objects of expenditures within a department; but no transfers shall be made of appropriations originating from bond funds unless the purpose for which the bonds were issued has been fulfilled or abandoned. If the county executive or county administrator fails to make a recommendation within 10 days after the submission of a request for transfer, the finance committee may act upon the request without his or her recommendation. If more than one department is under the jurisdiction of the same board or commission or under the same general management, the group of departments may be considered as though they were a single unit with respect to transfers of appropriations within the group.
59.60(8)(b) (b) Except as provided under sub. (9), the board, upon the recommendation of the finance committee and by resolution adopted by a majority of the members present and voting at any meeting, may transfer any unencumbered appropriation balance or portion thereof from one department or account to another at any time during the following:
59.60(8)(b)1. 1. The first 9 months of the fiscal year, if another unit of government fails to appropriate moneys which the board anticipated and appropriated to that department or account when the board adopted the budget. The amount of money transferred under this subdivision may not exceed the amount of money which that other unit of government fails to appropriate.
59.60(8)(b)2. 2. The last 3 months of the fiscal year.
59.60(8)(c) (c) Paragraph (b) does not apply to an appropriation which is irrepealable by law.
59.60(9) (9)Appropriations, supplemental and emergency.
59.60(9)(a)(a) At the request of the head of any department and after review and recommendation by the finance committee, the board, by resolution adopted by a vote of two-thirds of the members-elect of the board, may transfer from the contingency appropriation into any other appropriation or create a new appropriation for any legal county purpose if any unforeseen condition requires an appropriation of funds during the budget year. The board may make supplemental appropriations for the year up to the amount of the additional revenue and surplus so certified to meet a public emergency affecting life, health, property or the public welfare, if the director certifies that any of the following funds are available for appropriation:
59.60(9)(a)1. 1. Revenues that are received from sources not anticipated in the budget that year.
59.60(9)(a)2. 2. Revenues that are received that exceed budget estimates.
59.60(9)(a)3. 3. Unappropriated surplus funds from the preceding fiscal year.
59.60(9)(b) (b) An appropriation under par. (a) may be made only by resolution adopted by a vote of two-thirds of the members-elect of the board. To the extent that unappropriated funds or realized revenues in excess of anticipated revenues are unavailable to meet the emergency, the board may, by resolution adopted by three-fourths of the members-elect, issue tax anticipation notes under s. 67.12. Notice of intent to make supplemental appropriations from revenues or surplus or to issue tax anticipation notes shall be published as a class 1 notice, under ch. 985, in the 2 daily newspapers having the largest circulation in the county, not less than 6 days prior to the hearings before the finance committee of the board in regard to these matters.
59.60(10) (10)Ordinance increasing salaries; new positions; when effective. No ordinance or resolution authorizing the creation of new or additional positions or increasing salaries shall become effective in any budget period until an appropriation of funds for such purpose is made or the ordinance or resolution contains a provision for the transfer of funds if required. All such ordinances or resolutions which do not require an appropriation or transfer of funds shall state therein the specific account or accounts in which funds are available for such purposes.
59.60(11) (11)Lapse of appropriations. Every appropriation excepting an appropriation for a capital expenditure, or a major repair, shall lapse at the close of the fiscal year to the extent that it has not been expended or encumbered. An appropriation for a capital expenditure or a major repair shall continue in force until the purpose for which it was made has been accomplished or abandoned. The purpose of such appropriation for any capital expenditure or a major repair shall be considered abandoned if 3 years pass without any expenditure from, or encumbrance of, the appropriation concerned.
59.60(12) (12)Payments and obligations prohibited; certifications; penalties. No payment may be authorized or made and no obligation incurred against the county unless the county has sufficient appropriations for payment. No payment may be made or obligation incurred against an appropriation unless the director first certifies that a sufficient unencumbered balance is or will be available in the appropriation to make the payment or to meet the obligation when it becomes due and payable. An obligation incurred and an authorization of payment in violation of this subsection is void. A county officer who knowingly violates this subsection is jointly and severally liable to the county for the full amount paid. A county employee who knowingly violates this subsection may be removed for cause. This subsection does not prohibit contracting for capital improvements being financed wholly or partly by the issuance of bonds or prevent the making of a contract or lease providing for the payment of funds at a time beyond the end of the fiscal year in which the contract or lease is made. The board shall make or approve by resolution each contract, lease or other obligation requiring the payment of funds from the appropriations of a later fiscal year or of more than one fiscal year.
59.60(13) (13)Tax stabilization fund.
59.60(13)(a) (a) Notwithstanding sub. (1), only a county with a population of at least 750,000 may create a tax stabilization fund under this subsection.
59.60(13)(b) (b) The board of a county described in par. (a) may enact an ordinance creating a tax stabilization fund in the county. If such fund is created under this paragraph, the following amounts, if positive, shall be deposited into the tax stabilization fund:
59.60(13)(b)1. 1. The amount determined by subtracting the estimated nonproperty tax revenues collected by the county in the prior year from the corresponding actual receipts for the prior year, as determined by the comptroller not later than April 15 of each year.
59.60(13)(b)2. 2. The amount determined by subtracting total adjusted operating budget appropriations for the prior year from total expenditures, commitments, and reserves for the prior year, as determined by the comptroller not later than April 15 of each year.
59.60(13)(b)3. 3. Any general surplus balance as of December 31 of the prior year, as determined by the comptroller not later than April 15 of each year.
59.60(13)(b)4. 4. Any amounts included in the county's property tax levy that are designated for deposit in the fund.
59.60(13)(c) (c) Subject to par. (d), the board may withdraw amounts from the tax stabilization fund, by a three-quarters vote of the members-elect, or by a majority vote of the members-elect if the county's total levy rate, as defined in s. 59.605 (1) (g), is projected by the board to increase by more than 3 percent in the current fiscal year and the withdrawn funds would prevent an increase of more than 3 percent.
59.60(13)(d) (d) The tax stabilization fund may not be used to offset any of the following:
59.60(13)(d)1. 1. Any deficit that occurs between the board's total estimated nonproperty tax revenue, and the total actual nonproperty tax revenue.
59.60(13)(d)2. 2. Any deficit that occurs between total appropriations and total expenditures.
59.60(13)(e) (e) If the uncommitted balance in the tax stabilization fund exceeds 5 percent of the current year's budget that is under the board's control, as of June 1 of the current year, any amount that exceeds that 5 percent shall be used to reduce the county's next property tax levy.
59.60 History History: 1981 c. 56, 314; 1985 a. 29 ss. 1190, 1191, 3200 (56); 1987 a. 284, 399; 1989 a. 31; 1995 a. 201 s. 435; Stats. 1995 s. 59.60; 1995 a. 225 s. 169; 1997 a. 35; 2001 a. 16; 2013 a. 14; 2017 a. 207 s. 5; 2019 a. 42; s. 35.17 correction in (3s) (b).
59.60 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See s. 65.90 for budget procedure in counties other than Milwaukee.
59.605 59.605 Tax levy rate limit.
59.605(1)(1)Definitions. In this section:
59.605(1)(a) (a) “Debt levy" means the county purpose levy for debt service on loans under subch. II of ch. 24, bonds issued under s. 67.05, promissory notes issued under s. 67.12 (12), and appropriation bonds issued under s. 59.85, less any revenues that abate the levy.
59.605(1)(b) (b) “Debt levy rate" means the debt levy divided by the equalized value of the county exclusive of any tax incremental district value increment.
59.605(1)(c) (c) “Excess over the limit" means the amount of revenue received by a county that results from the county exceeding the limit under sub. (2).
59.605(1)(d) (d) “Operating levy" means the county purpose levy, less the debt levy.
59.605(1)(e) (e) “Operating levy rate" means the total levy rate minus the debt levy rate.
59.605(1)(f) (f) “Penalized excess" means the excess over the limit for the county.
59.605(1)(g) (g) “Total levy rate" means the county purpose levy divided by the equalized value of the county exclusive of any tax incremental district value increment.
59.605(2) (2)Limit. Except as provided in sub. (3), no county may impose an operating levy at an operating levy rate that exceeds .001 or the operating levy rate in 1992, whichever is greater.
59.605(3) (3)Referendum, responsibility transfers.
59.605(3)(a)1.1. If the governing body of a county wishes to exceed the operating levy rate limit otherwise applicable to the county under this section, it shall adopt a resolution to that effect. The resolution shall specify either the operating levy rate or the operating levy that the governing body wishes to impose for either a specified number of years or an indefinite period. The governing body shall call a special referendum for the purpose of submitting the resolution to the electors of the county for approval or rejection. In lieu of a special referendum, the governing body may specify that the referendum be held at the next succeeding spring primary or election or partisan primary or general election to be held not earlier than 70 days after the adoption of the resolution of the governing body. The governing body shall file the resolution to be submitted to the electors as provided in s. 8.37.
59.605(3)(a)2. 2. The clerk of the county shall publish type A, B, C, D and E notices of the referendum under s. 10.01 (2). Section 5.01 (1) applies in the event of failure to comply with the notice requirements of this subdivision.
59.605(3)(a)3. 3. The referendum shall be held in accordance with chs. 5 to 12. The governing body shall provide the election officials with all necessary election supplies. The form of the ballot shall correspond substantially with the standard form for referendum ballots prescribed by the elections commission under ss. 5.64 (2) and 7.08 (1) (a). If the resolution under subd. 1. specifies the operating levy rate, the question shall be submitted as follows: “Under state law, the operating levy rate for the .... (name of county), for the tax to be imposed for the year .... (year), is limited to $.... per $1,000 of equalized value. Shall the .... (name of county) be allowed to exceed this rate limit for .... (a specified number of years) (an indefinite period) by $.... per $1,000 of equalized value that results in an operating levy rate of $.... per $1,000 of equalized value?" If the resolution under subd. 1. specifies the operating levy, the question shall be submitted as follows: “Under state law, the operating levy rate for the .... (name of county), for the tax to be imposed for the year .... (year), is limited to $.... per $1,000 of equalized value. Notwithstanding the operating levy rate limit, shall the .... (name of county) be allowed to levy an amount not to exceed $.... (operating levy) for operating purposes for the year .... (year), which may increase the operating levy rate for .... (a specified number of years) (an indefinite period)? This would allow a ....% increase above the levy of $.... (preceding year operating levy) for the year .... (preceding year)."
59.605(3)(a)4. 4. Within 14 days after the referendum, the clerk of the county shall certify the results of the referendum to the department of revenue. A county may exceed the operating levy rate limit otherwise applicable to it under this section in that year by an amount not exceeding the amount approved by a majority of those voting on the question.
59.605(3)(b)1.1. If an increased operating levy rate is approved by a referendum under par. (a) for a specified number of years, the increased operating levy rate shall be the operating levy rate limit for that number of years for purposes of this section. If an increased operating levy rate is approved by a referendum under par. (a) for an indefinite period, the increased operating levy rate shall be the operating levy rate limit for purposes of this section.
59.605(3)(b)2. 2. If an increased operating levy is approved by a referendum under par. (a), the increased operating levy shall be used to calculate the operating levy rate limit for the approved year for purposes of this section. After the approved year, the operating levy rate limit in the approved year or the operating levy rate limit that would have been applicable if there had been no referendum, whichever is greater, shall be the limit for the specified number of years or for an indefinite period for purposes of this section.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 186 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on October 31, 2020. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after October 31, 2020, are designated by NOTES. (Published 10-31-20)