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Article VIII, Wisconsin Constitution
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As amended Nov. 1908, April 1927, April 1941, April 1961 and April 1974.
| Text of Section 1:
Rule of Taxation Uniform; Income, Privilege and Occupation Taxes
The rule of taxation shall be uniform but the legislature may empower cities, villages or towns to collect and return taxes on real estate located therein by optional methods. Taxes shall be levied upon such property with such classifications as to forests and minerals including or separate or severed from the land, as the legislature shall prescribe. Taxation of agricultural land and undeveloped land, both as defined by law, need not be uniform with the taxation of each other nor with the taxation of other real property. Taxation of merchants’ stock−in−trade, manufacturers’ materials and finished products, and livestock need not be uniform with the taxation of real property and other personal property, but the taxation of all such merchants’ stock−in−trade, manufacturers’ materials and finished products and livestock shall be uniform, except that the legislature may provide that the value thereof shall be determined on an average basis. Taxes may also be imposed on incomes, privileges and occupations, which taxesmay be graduated and progressive, and reasonable exemptions may be provided.
1905 J.R. 12, 1907 J.R. 29, 1907 c. 661, vote Nov. 1908; 1925 J.R. 62, 1927 J.R. 13, vote April 1927; 1939 J.R. 88, 1941 J.R. 18, vote April 1941; 1959 J.R. 78, 1961 J.R. 13, vote April 1961; 1971 J.R. 39, 1973 J.R. 29, vote April 1974.
As amended Nov. 1877.
| Text of Section 2:
No money shall be paid out of the treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation by law. No appropriation shall be made for the payment of any claim against the state except claims of the United States and judgments, unless filed within six years after the claim accrued.
1876 J.R. 7, 1877 J.R. 4, 1877 c. 158, vote Nov. 1877.
As amended April 1975.
| Text of Section 3:
Credit of State
Except as provided in s. 7 (2) (a), the credit of the state shall never be given, or loaned, in aid of any individual, association or corporation.
1973 J.R. 38, 1975 J.R. 3, vote April 1975.
| Text of Section 4:
Contracting State Debts
The state shall never contract any public debt except in the cases and manner herein provided.
| Text of Section 5:
Annual Tax Levy to Equal Expenses
The legislature shall provide for an annual tax sufficient to defray the estimated expenses of the state for each year; and whenever the expenses of any year shall exceed the income, the legislature shall provide for levying a tax for the ensuing year, sufficient, with other sources of income, to pay the deficiency as well as the estimated expenses of such ensuing year.
| Text of Section 6:
Public Debt for Extraordinary Expense; Taxation
For the purpose of defraying extraordinary expenditures the state may contract public debts (but such debts shall never in the aggregate exceed one hundred thousand dollars). Every such debt shall be authorized by law, for some purpose or purposes to be distinctly specified therein; and the vote of a majority of all the members elected to each house, to be taken by yeas and nays, shall be necessary to the passage of such law; and every such law shall provide for levying an annual tax sufficient to pay the annual interest of such debt and the principal within five years from the passage of such law, and shall specially appropriate the proceeds of such taxes to the payment of such principal and interest; and such appropriation shall not be repealed, nor the taxes be postponed or diminished, until the principal and interest of such debt shall have been wholly paid.
As amended April 1969, April 1975 and April 1992.
| Text of Section 7:
Public Debt for Public Defense; Bonding for Public Purposes
(1) The legislature may also borrow money to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or defend the state in time of war; but the money thus raised shall be applied exclusively to the object for which the loan was authorized, or to the repayment of the debt thereby created.
(2) Any other provision of this constitution to the contrary notwithstanding:
public debt and, b. the outstanding indebtedness as of January 1 of such calendar year of any entity of the type described in paragraph (d) to the extent that such indebtedness is supported by or payable from payments out of the treasury of the state.
refund the whole or any part of any indebtedness incurred prior to January 1, 1972, by any entity of the type described in paragraph (d), including any premium payable with respect thereto and any interest to accrue thereon.
1, 1971, to the Wisconsin State Agencies Building Corporation, Wisconsin State Colleges Building Corporation, Wisconsin State Public Building Corporation, Wisconsin University Building Corporation or any similar entity existing or operating for similar purposes pursuant to which such nonprofit corporation or such other entity undertakes to finance or provide a facility for use or occupancy by the state or an agency, department or instrumentality thereof.
the public purposes for which public debt may be contracted; by vote of a majority of the members elected to each of the 2 houses of the legislature, the amount of public debt which may be contracted for any class of such purposes; the public debt or other indebtedness which may be funded or refunded; the kinds of notes, bonds or other evidence of public debt which may be issued by the state; and the manner in which the aggregate value of all taxable property in the state shall be determined.
1967 J.R. 58, 1969 J.R. 3, vote April 1969; 1973 J.R. 38, 1975 J.R. 3, vote April 1975; J.R. 9, vote April 1992.
| Text of Section 8:
Vote on Fiscal Bills; Quorum
On the passage in either house of the legislature of any law which imposes, continues or renews a tax, or creates a debt or charge, or makes, continues or renews an appropriation of public or trust money, or releases, discharges or commutes a claim or demand of the state, the question shall be taken by yeas and nays, which shall be duly entered on the journal; and three−fifths of all the members elected to such house shall in all such cases be required to constitute a quorum therein.
| Text of Section 9:
Evidences of Public Debt
No scrip, certificate, or other evidence of state debt, whatsoever, shall be issued, except for such debts as are authorized by the sixth and seventh sections of this article.
As amended Nov. 1908, Nov. 1924, Apr. 1945, Apr. 1949, Apr. 1960, Apr. 1968 and Apr. 1992.
| Text of Section 10:
Except as further provided in this section, the state may never contract any debt for works of internal improvement, or be a party in carrying on such works.
works of internal improvement, the state may carry on such particular works and shall devote thereto the avails of such grants, and may pledge or appropriate the revenues derived from such works in aid of their completion.
1905 J.R. 11, 1907 J.R. 18, 1907 c. 238, vote Nov. 1908; 1921 J.R. 29S, 1923 J.R. 57, 1923 c. 289, vote Nov. 1924; 1943 J.R. 37, 1945 J.R. 3, vote April 1945; Spl. S. 1948 J.R. 1, 1949 J.R. 1, vote April 1949; 1957 J.R. 58, 1959 J.R. 15, vote April 1960; 1965 J.R. 43, 1967 J.R. 25, vote April 1968; 1991 J.R. 9, vote April 1992.
- State constitution
- Constitutional article
- Constitutional amendment
- Constitutional revision
- Constitutional convention
- Wisconsin State Legislature, "Wisconsin Constitution"
- Wisconsin Historical Society, "Turning Points of Wisconsin History: The State Constitutions of 1846 and 1848"
- Stark, Jack. (2011). The Wisconsin State Constitution, New York, New York: Oxford University Press
- Janik, Erika. (2010). A Short History of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Historical Society Press
- Stark, Jack. (1997). The Wisconsin State Constitution: A Reference Guide, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing
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