Except as provided under pars. (b)
and subs. (7)
, and subject to the limit on the number of referendums that may be called in any calendar year under subd. 2. a.
, if the board of any school district, or the electors at a regularly called school district meeting, by a majority vote adopt an initial resolution to raise an amount of money by a bond issue, the school district clerk shall, within 10 days, publish notice of such adoption as a class 1 notice under ch. 985
or post the notice as provided under s. 10.05
. The notice shall state the maximum amount proposed to be borrowed, the purpose of the borrowing, that the resolution was adopted under this subdivision and the place where and the hours during which the resolution may be inspected. The school board shall also do one of the following:
Direct the school district clerk to submit the resolution to the electors for approval or rejection at the next regularly scheduled spring primary or election or partisan primary or general election, provided such election is to be held not earlier than 70 days after the adoption of the resolution. A school board may proceed under this subd. 2. a.
and under s. 121.91 (3) (a) 1.
no more than 2 times in any calendar year. The resolution shall not be effective unless adopted by a majority of the school district electors voting at the referendum.
Specify in the initial resolution the date, time and place for a public hearing on the resolution, which shall be within 10 days after the publication of the notice under subd. 2. (intro.)
, and whether the public hearing is for informational purposes only or whether electors present at the public hearing will be given an opportunity to vote on whether a referendum shall be held on the initial resolution.
For a school district that has experienced a natural disaster, including a fire, that causes the school district's costs to increase, direct the school district clerk to call a special referendum to be held within the 6-month period immediately following the natural disaster, provided the special referendum is to be held not sooner than 70 days after the adoption of the initial resolution. The resolution shall not be effective unless adopted by a majority of the school district electors voting at the referendum.
If the public hearing under par. (a) 2. b.
is for informational purposes only and, within 30 days after the public hearing, a petition is filed with the school district clerk for a referendum on the resolution signed by at least 7,500 electors of the school district or at least 20 percent of the school district electors, as determined under s. 115.01 (13)
, whichever is less, the resolution shall not be effective unless adopted by a majority of the school district electors voting at the referendum. Subject to the limit therein, the school board shall hold the referendum in accordance with par. (a) 2. a.
The question submitted shall be whether the initial resolution shall or shall not be approved.
If a vote is taken at the public hearing under par. (a) 2. b.
, and a majority of the electors present and voting at the hearing determine that a referendum shall be held on the initial resolution, the school board shall proceed under par. (a) 2. a.
If a vote is taken at the public hearing under par. (a) 2. b.
, and a majority of the electors present and voting at the hearing determine that no referendum on the initial resolution shall be held, the resolution shall be effective unless a petition is filed as provided under subd. 1.
Paragraph (a) 2.
applies only if the amount of money to be raised by the bond issue will cause the aggregate amount of outstanding indebtedness of the school district incurred without a referendum since August 9, 1989, excluding amounts specified in par. (bm)
, to exceed $1,000,000 or an amount determined as follows, whichever is less:
Divide the full value of all taxable property in all school districts operating a high school, as determined under s. 121.06 (1)
, by the total membership, as defined in s. 121.004 (5)
, of all school districts.
For a school district from which territory is detached to create a new school district under s. 117.105
, the amounts specified and calculated under par. (b)
shall be increased, for the construction of a building or an addition to a building only, by the amount determined as follows:
Determine the number of pupils in each grade level who attended school in the previous school year in a building that was then owned by the school district and has been allocated to another school district by the reorganization and who resided in the previous school year in territory that was not transferred to the other school district. The number shall be the average of such pupils enrolled on the 3rd Friday of September and the 2nd Friday of January.
The department of safety and professional services shall determine for each grade level in which pupils attended school in a building described in subd. 1.
, the average cost per square foot for, and the average number of square feet per pupil included in, 2 recently constructed school buildings that were designed to serve pupils of that grade level, as selected by that department.
For each grade level, multiply the number determined under subd. 1.
by the product of the 2 numbers determined under subd. 2.
, and total the results.
Refunding bonds or promissory notes, except such refunding bonds or promissory notes, or portions thereof, that have been issued to refund bonds or promissory notes that were not subject to a referendum as a result of par. (b)
or s. 67.12 (12) (e) 2g.
(6m) Hearing and referendum in technical college districts.
Unless sub. (7) (k)
applies, prior to the adoption of an initial resolution under sub. (1)
, the technical college district board shall adopt a resolution stating its intention to borrow money for the purposes specified in s. 38.16 (2)
and setting a date, time and place for a public hearing on the resolution adopted under this subsection which shall be held within 30 days after its adoption. The technical college district secretary immediately shall publish a copy of the resolution adopted under this subsection as a class 1 notice, under ch. 985
An initial resolution adopted by a technical college district board for an issue of bonds in an amount of money not exceeding $1,500,000 for building remodeling or improvement need not be submitted to the electors of the district for approval unless within 30 days after the initial resolution is adopted there is filed with the technical college district secretary a petition conforming to the requirements of s. 8.40
requesting a referendum thereon. Such a petition shall be signed by electors from each county lying wholly or partially within the district. The number of electors from each county shall equal at least 1.5 percent of the population of the county as determined under s. 16.96 (2) (c)
. If a county lies in more than one district, the technical college system board shall apportion the county's population as determined under s. 16.96 (2) (c)
to the districts involved and the petition shall be signed by electors equal to the appropriate percentage of the apportioned population. Any initial resolution adopted under sub. (1)
in an amount of money not exceeding $1,500,000 at the discretion of the district board, may be submitted to the electors without waiting for the filing of a petition. All initial resolutions adopted under sub. (1)
in an amount of money in excess of $1,500,000 or more for building remodeling or improvement shall be submitted to the electors of the district for approval. If a referendum is duly petitioned or required under this subsection, bonds may not be issued until the electors of the district have approved the issue.
If a referendum is to be held on an initial resolution, the district board shall direct the technical college district secretary to call a special election for the purpose of submitting the initial resolution to the electors for a referendum on approval or rejection. In lieu of a special election, the district board may specify that the election be held at the next succeeding spring primary or election or partisan primary or general election.
(7) Referendum, when required by electors, when not permitted. 67.05(7)(a)(a)
An initial resolution adopted by a county board for an issue of bonds to provide a memorial for soldiers, sailors and marines, shall not be submitted to the electors unless within 30 days after the adoption thereof there is filed with the county clerk a petition conforming to the requirements of s. 8.40
requesting such submission, signed by electors numbering at least 10 percent of the votes cast in the county for governor at the last general election. If such petition is filed, proceedings shall be had under sub. (4)
An initial resolution adopted by the governing body of a city for an issue of bonds for purposes specifically enumerated in sub. (5)
need not be submitted to the electors under sub. (5)
unless, within 30 days after the adoption thereof, a petition conforming to the requirements of s. 8.40
requesting such submission, signed by electors numbering at least 10 percent of the votes cast for governor in the city at the last general election, is filed in the office of the city clerk. Whenever a number of electors cannot be determined on the basis of reported statistics, the number shall be determined in accordance with s. 60.74 (6)
. Any initial resolution may, in the discretion of the governing body, by separate recorded resolution, be submitted to popular vote without a petition.
An initial resolution adopted by the common council of a city for an issue of bonds for paying the city's portion of the cost of abolishing grade crossings, shall not be submitted to popular vote.
An initial resolution adopted by the school board of a common school district or unified school district for the purpose of purchasing the school property or technical college school property of a city therein which formerly operated a city school district shall not be submitted to a referendum vote.
Whenever the purpose for which any municipality proposes to issue bonds is required by law to be approved by a vote of its electors, such a vote in favor of the issue for that express purpose shall be construed as an approval of the purpose by the electors; and the question of approving the purpose need not be separately submitted.
If a school board adopts an initial resolution to raise an amount of money by a bond issue, and either sub. (6a) (a) 2.
does not apply as a result of sub. (6a) (b)
or the initial resolution is not subject to a referendum as a result of par. (cc)
, or (i)
, the school board has the power to borrow and spend the amount for the purpose stated without the approval of the electors of the school district.
If a school board adopts an initial resolution to raise an amount of money by a bond issue, and either the public hearing under sub. (6a) (a) 2. b.
is for informational purposes only or sub. (6a) (am) 3.
applies, the power of the school board to borrow and spend the amount for the purpose stated shall be deemed approved by the electors of the school district if a sufficient petition for a referendum is not filed within the time permitted under sub. (6a) (am) 1.
An initial resolution adopted by the governing body of a city or village for an issue of bonds to create a revolving fund out of which to advance the cost of any work for which special assessments may be levied, in anticipation of the collection by the city or village treasurer of the special assessments, special improvement certificates and improvement bonds, made or issued for the cost thereof, need not be submitted to the electors under sub. (5)
unless, within 30 days after the adoption thereof, a petition conforming to the requirements of s. 8.40
requesting such submission, signed by electors numbering at least 10 percent of the votes cast for governor in the city or village at the last general election, is filed in the office of the city or village clerk. Whenever a number of electors cannot be determined on the basis of reported statistics, the number shall be determined in accordance with s. 60.74 (6)
. If such petition is filed, proceedings shall be had under sub. (5)
. Any such resolution may, in the discretion of the governing body, by separate recorded resolution, be submitted to popular vote without the filing of a petition.
An initial resolution adopted by the school board of a school district for the purpose of issuing up to $2,000,000 in debt for the costs associated with an environmental remediation project on district-owned property and under an environmental remediation plan approved by the department of natural resources and the federal environmental protection agency shall not be submitted to a referendum vote.
An initial resolution adopted by any county, town, city or village for the purpose of acquiring, developing, remodeling, constructing and equipping land, buildings and facilities for regional projects, either alone or acting jointly under s. 66.0301
, shall not be subject to a referendum.
An initial resolution adopted by any town sanitary district under sub. (1)
may be submitted to the electors by separate resolution of the board. If the board does not adopt such a separate resolution, the initial resolution may not be submitted to the electors unless, within 30 days after its adoption, a petition conforming to the requirements of s. 8.40
requesting such submission, signed by electors numbering at least 10 percent of the votes cast for governor in the district at the last general election, is filed with the district clerk requesting a referendum. If a petition is filed, the board shall proceed under sub. (5)
If a school district is ordered by a court or a state or federal agency to remove a hazardous substance from a school, an initial resolution adopted by the school board for the purpose of complying with the order is not subject to a referendum. This paragraph does not apply to financing the construction of a new school.
If a school district is ordered by a court, state agency or fire chief of a city or village to remedy any violation of a state statute or rule or municipal or county ordinance relating to fire hazards or to the prevention of fire, an initial resolution adopted by the school board for the purpose of complying with the order is not subject to a referendum. This paragraph does not apply to financing the construction of a new school or other school district facility.
An initial resolution adopted by the school board of a school district created by a reorganization under s. 117.105
, or adopted by the school board of a school district from which territory is detached to create a school district under s. 117.105
, for the purpose of financing any assets or liabilities apportioned to the school district or assets apportioned to another school district under s. 117.105 (1m)
, is not subject to a referendum.
does not apply to an initial resolution adopted by a technical college district board to purchase or construct a facility to be used as an applied technology center to which s. 38.15 (3) (c)
(10) Direct, annual, irrepealable tax.
The governing body of every municipality proceeding under this chapter shall, at the time of or after the adoption of an initial resolution in compliance with sub. (1)
, or, after the approval of the resolution by popular vote when such approval is required, and before issuing any of the contemplated bonds, levy by recorded resolution a direct, annual tax sufficient in amount to pay and for the express purpose of paying the interest on such bonds as it falls due, and also to pay and discharge the principal thereof at maturity. The municipality shall be and continue without power to repeal such levy or obstruct the collection of the tax until all such payments have been made or provided for. After the issue of the bonds, the tax shall be from year to year carried into the tax roll of the municipality and collected as other taxes are collected, provided that the amount of tax carried into the tax roll may be reduced in any year by the amount of any surplus money in the debt service fund created under s. 67.11
, and provided further that the municipality issuing the bonds may make an appropriation in advance of the authorization of the bonds to provide funds for any payment coming due on the bonds prior to the first collection of taxes levied for that payment. The amount of the appropriation shall be based on estimates of the amount of bonds to be sold and the rate of interest the bonds will bear. The appropriation shall not be used for any purpose other than that for which appropriated and any surplus in the appropriation shall be transferred to the general fund of the municipality. The municipality is not required to levy a tax equal to the amount of that appropriation.
(11) Authority to borrow and issue bonds, when complete.
Every municipality that has first complied with all the requirements prescribed for and made applicable to it by subs. (1)
, may, but not otherwise, borrow money and issue and sell or hypothecate its municipal bonds to the amount and for the purposes specified in the initial resolution.
(12) Record of proceedings.
Every municipality shall provide and keep a separate record book or record books in which its municipal clerk shall record a full and correct statement of every step or proceeding had or taken in the course of authorizing and issuing municipal bonds, or of incurring any other municipal obligation under the provisions of this chapter, including a statement of the number of affirmative and negative votes cast by electors.
(13) Combination of issues.
Bonds authorized under various initial resolutions may, in the discretion of the governing body, be combined into one issue and designated as “corporate purpose bonds". The resolution providing for such combination and the bond form for the combined issue shall separately itemize the amount being issued for each of the purposes provided by the underlying initial resolutions.
(14) Referendum not required for certain temporary borrowing.
This section shall not be construed to require, or at any time before July 9, 1955, to have required, the submission to the electors for approval of any borrowing under s. 67.12
, the provisions of said s. 67.12
being controlling as to such borrowing.
(15) Referendum not required for refunding obligations.
This section does not require the submission to the electors for their approval of any resolution that authorizes the issuance of municipal obligations to refund outstanding municipal obligations or the interest on outstanding municipal obligations.
History: 1971 c. 29
; 1971 c. 154
; 1971 c. 211
; 1973 c. 23
; 1975 c. 182
; 1977 c. 26
; 1977 c. 29
, 1654 (8) (c)
; 1977 c. 427
; 1979 c. 221
; 1981 c. 20
; 1983 a. 207
, 93 (5)
, (6), (7), 95
; 1983 a. 236
; 1983 a. 532
; 1983 a. 538
; 1985 a. 187
; 1987 a. 197
; 1987 a. 391
; 1989 a. 31
; 1991 a. 49
; 1993 a. 399
; 1995 a. 378
; 1997 a. 237
; 1999 a. 9
; 1999 a. 150
; 1999 a. 182
; 2001 a. 16
; 2005 a. 333
; 2007 a. 1
; 2009 a. 28
; 2011 a. 32
; 2015 a. 37
; 2017 a. 59
The whole school bond referendum process did not become illegal because the board of canvassers was improperly composed of 6 of the 7 school board members, plus 3 city council members. Karker v. Board of Unified School District No. 1 of Ashland, 51 Wis. 2d 542
, 187 N.W.2d 160
Form and contents of bonds.
Every municipal bond shall be a negotiable instrument payable to bearer, or, in case of registered bonds, to the registered owner; shall bear interest; shall specify the times and the place or places of payment of principal and interest; shall be numbered consecutively with the other bonds of the same issue which shall begin with number one and continue upward, or, if so directed by the governing body, shall begin with any other number and continue upward; shall bear on its face a name indicative of the purpose specified for it in the resolution of the governing body authorizing its issuance or in a resolution pursuant to s. 67.05 (13)
; shall contain a statement that a direct annual irrepealable tax has been levied by the municipality sufficient to pay the interest when it falls due, and also to pay and discharge the principal at maturity; may contain a statement that the bond is callable with or without premium on conditions prescribed on it; and may contain any other statement of fact not in conflict with the resolution. The entire issue may be composed of bonds of a single denomination or 2 or more denominations.
History: 1973 c. 172
; 1983 a. 207
Maturity and place of payment.
The principal of every sum borrowed and secured by an issue of municipal bonds may be made payable at one time in a single payment or at several times in 2 or more installments; but every installment, whether of principal or interest, shall be made payable not later than 20 years after the original date of the bonds, except that when the bonds are issued for the acquisition of lands by a county having a population of 150,000 or over, for public, municipal purposes or for the permanent improvement thereof, by a sewerage district or county having a population of 150,000 or over for sewerage purposes and by any city for sewerage purposes, all installments of principal and interest shall be made payable within a period not exceeding 50 years from the original date of the bonds. The terms of the bonds shall comply with the initial resolution.
Execution and negotiation. 67.08(1)(1)
Municipal obligations shall be executed in the name of and for the municipality issuing them by their qualified officers who shall, for that purpose, sign the same in their official capacities, as follows: for a county, the chairperson of the county board and the county clerk; for a city, the mayor or the city manager and the city clerk; for a village, the president and the village clerk; for a town, the chairperson and the town clerk; for a technical college district, the chairperson and secretary; for a metropolitan sewerage district established under ss. 200.21
, the chairperson and secretary; for any other municipality, the president and clerk or secretary of the governing body. The facsimile signature of any of the officers executing a municipal obligation may be imprinted on the municipal obligation in lieu of the manual signature of the officer but, unless a municipality has contracted with a fiscal agent under s. 67.10 (2)
to authenticate the municipal obligation, at least one of the signatures appearing on each municipal obligation shall be a manual signature. Municipal obligations bearing the signatures of officers in office on the date of the execution of the municipal obligations remain valid and binding even if before the delivery of the municipal obligations any or all of the persons whose signatures appear on the municipal obligations have ceased to be officers of the municipality issuing them. Each municipal obligation issued by a municipality having an official or corporate seal shall be sealed with such seal or a printed facsimile of such seal.
The sale of bonds shall be public and noticed as provided by resolution, except that refunding bonds and bonds issued by a municipality and to be purchased by itself for any of the debt service accounts for any of its bond issues or any trust or reserve fund of the municipality may be sold at public or private sale. Bonds may be sold at such price or prices as shall be determined by the municipality.
Any or all bids received may be rejected and the sale canceled, or the sale of all or any part of the bonds negotiated, after bids at public sale have been rejected or if no bids are received.
Such negotiation and sale, or other disposition, may be effected by a disposition from time to time of portions only of the entire issue when the purpose for which the bonds have been authorized does not require an immediate realization upon all of them.
Registration of municipal obligations. 67.09(1)(1)
All municipal obligations may be payable to bearer or may be registered as to the principal or principal and interest by the clerk or treasurer of the municipality issuing them or such other officers or agents, including fiscal agents under s. 67.10 (2)
, as the governing body of the municipality determines. Registrations shall be recorded.
The holder of any registrable bearer municipal obligation may have the ownership thereof registered under sub. (1)
, and such registration noted on the municipal obligation by or on behalf of the municipality. After such registration, no transfer thereof shall be valid unless made on the records of the municipality by the registered owner in person or by the registered owner's duly authorized attorney and similarly noted on the municipal obligation, but the same may be discharged from registration by being in like manner transferred to bearer, and thereafter transferability by delivery shall be restored; but such bond may again be registered as to principal or as to principal and interest or transferred to bearer, as before. Registration only as to principal under this section shall not affect the negotiability of the appurtenant coupons, but every such coupon shall continue to be transferable upon delivery and shall remain payable to bearer.
Any municipality may establish a book entry system as a means of identifying the persons entitled to receive principal and interest payments on any of its municipal obligations, maintaining such a system itself or contracting for its maintenance.
Fiscal and administrative regulations. 67.10(1)(1)
Money of the United States.
All money received in payment of any tax levied under this chapter shall be lawful money of the United States; all municipal obligations shall be issued in exchange for lawful money of the United States or an obligation of the federal reserve bank or the state to pay such money; and all municipal obligations shall be payable in such money.
(2) Fiscal agents.
The governing body of any municipality may appoint a fiscal agent or fiscal agents. Every fiscal agent shall be an incorporated bank or trust company authorized by the laws of the United States or of the state in which it is located to do a banking or trust company business or shall be a Wisconsin governmental body or officer. This contract may create a trust relationship and may provide for the performance by the fiscal agent of any of the following functions:
Accounting for payment of debt service.
Accounting for and cancellation of municipal obligations.
Authentication of municipal obligations.
(3) Borrowed money fund, source and use.
All borrowed money shall be paid into the treasury of the municipality borrowing it, be entered in an account separate and distinct from all other funds, disbursements charged thereto shall be for the purpose for which it was borrowed and for no other purpose, except as provided by s. 67.11
, but including the reimbursement of a temporary advance from other funds of the municipality or the repayment of a temporary loan by the municipality if such advance or loan has been made in anticipation of the borrowed money and for the same purpose, and such disbursements shall be only upon orders or warrants charged to said fund and expressing the purpose for which they are drawn. Money in the borrowed money fund may be temporarily invested as provided in s. 66.0603 (1m)
(4) Time limit for sales and hypothecations.
Except as provided otherwise by sub. (6)
for cities of the 1st class every authorized municipal bond shall be sold or hypothecated within the 5 years next following the adoption, or the approval, when approval by popular vote is required, of the initial resolution authorizing its issue, except when such sale or hypothecation has been delayed by an action to determine the validity of the prior proceedings, in which case the period of such delay may be added to said 5 years.
(5) Anticipatory contracts in general. 67.10(5)(a)(a)
After any municipality has provided, as required by s. 67.05 (11)
, for an issue of bonds, or as required by s. 67.12 (12)
, for an issue of promissory notes, for a lawful purpose which can be accomplished only through performance of an executory contract by some other contracting party, such contract may be entered into before the actual execution, sale or hypothecation of the bonds or promissory notes, or receipt of payment therefor, with like effect as if the necessary cash for payments on the contract were already in the treasury.
Any city having voted bonds at a special referendum election and having sold a portion thereof may negotiate, sell or otherwise dispose of the same in the manner provided by statute within 9 years of the date of the election voting the same.
(6) Anticipatory contracts in 1st class cities. 67.10(6)(a)1.1.
A 1st class city may enter into a contract in anticipation of the sale of bonds and make expenditures prior to the sale of the bonds for the purposes for which the bonds have been authorized if:
The common council has authorized the issuance of the bonds for any lawful purpose.
The commissioners of the public debt have certified to the comptroller of the city that the bonds can be sold if the comptroller determines that there is in the city treasury sufficient money, other than that raised for the payment of interest and principal on bonds, mortgages, mortgage certificates, or similar instruments of indebtedness, to warrant entering the anticipatory contract or making the expenditures prior to the sale of bonds.
Expenditures under this subsection may be made out of any money in the hands of the city treasurer, except money raised for the payment of interest or principal on bonds, mortgages, mortgage certificates, or similar instruments of indebtedness.