Wisconsin Municipal Debt Limit Increase Amendment, Question 1 (April 1976)

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The Wisconsin Municipal Debt Limit Increase Amendment was a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the April 6, 1976 ballot in Wisconsin, where it was defeated.

  • This amendment sought to modify Article XI, Section 3 of the Wisconsin Constitution to allow for an increase in municipal debt level from 5% to 10% of the state equalized valuation of the taxable property in that area.[1]

Election results

Question 1 (April)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No715,42068.56%
Yes 328,097 31.44%

Official results via: The Wisconsin Blue Book 1977

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

"Shall section 3 of Article XI of the constitution be amended to increase the debt limit for counties, cities, towns, villages or other municipal corporations from 5% to 10% of the state equalized valuation of the taxable property located in each such district?"[1]

Constitutional changes

[Article XI] Section 3. (1) Cities and villages organized pursuant to state law are hereby empowered, to determine their local affairs and government, subject only to this constitution and to such enactments of the legislature of state-wide concern as shall with uniformity affect every city or every village. The method of such determination shall be prescribed by the legislature.
(2) No county, city , town, village , school district or other municipal corporation may become indebted in an amount that exceeds an allowable percentage of the taxable property located therein equalized for state purposes as provided by the legislature. In all cases the allowable percentage shall be five per centum 10% except as follows: (a) For a) for any city authorized to issue bonds for school purposes , an additional ten per centum 10% shall be permitted for school purposes only , and in such cases the territory attached to the city for school purposes shall be included in the total taxable property supporting the bonds issued for school purposes. (b) For a) for any school district which offers no less than grades one to twelve 12 and which at the time of incurring such debt is not eligible for the highest level of school aids, ten per centum 5% shall be permitted.
(3) Any county, city, town, village, school district, or other municipal corporation incurring any indebtedness as aforesaid, shall before or at the time of doing so, provide for the collection of a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the interest on such debt as it falls due, and also to pay and discharge the principal thereof within twenty 20 years from the time of contracting the same; except that when such indebtedness is incurred in the acquisition of lands by cities, or by counties having a population of one hundred fifty thousand 150,000 or over, for public, municipal purposes, or for the permanent improvement thereof, the city or county incurring the same shall, before or at the time of so doing, provide for the collection of a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the interest on such debt as it falls due, and also to pay and discharge the principal thereof within a period not exceeding fifty 50 years from the time of contracting the same.
(4)An indebtedness created for the purpose of purchasing, acquiring, leasing, constructing, extending, adding to, improving, conducting, controlling, operating or managing a public utility of a town, village, city or special district, an secured solely by the property or income of such public" utility, and whereby no municipal liability is created, shall not be considered an indebtedness of such town, village, city or special district, and shall not be included in arriving at such debt limitation.[1]

Path to the ballot

  • First Legislative Approval: AJR 58 & JR 35 (1973)
  • Second Legislative Approval: AJR 6 & JR 6 (1975)[2]

See also

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References