Department of Revenue
Governor Signs Four
WTA Bills Into Law
(11/12/15) On Wednesday November 11th the Governor signed four WTA bills into law. The bills have publication dates of November 12th, meaning that they are state law as of Friday, November 13th. Details of the four are:
2015 Wisconsin Act 79: publication of certain legal notices on an Internet site maintained by a municipality. This bill provides a new option, not a mandate, for situations where towns and villages can already post legal notices in three physical locations in the jurisdiction. The new option is that these types of legal notices may also be posted in one physical location in the jurisdiction if also placed on an Internet site maintained by the local government.
2015 Wisconsin Act 96: authorizing towns to participate in multijurisdictional tax incremental financing districts. Previously this was prohibited.
2015 Wisconsin Act 105: limitations on town expenditures for certain highway purposes. This law eliminates the Wis. Stat. s. 82.03(2) requirement to have the town electors approve the highway expenditure line item of the budget. This requirement was unique to towns and had become severely outdated and cumbersome. The electors retain all other authorities such as approval of the town levy, etc.
2015 Wisconsin Act 113: ambulance staffing by emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and first responders. This law provides greater flexibility as no longer will only two EMTs be required to staff ambulances.
2015 68th Annual WTA Convention
Workshop Materials Available
(11/17/15) The 68th Annual WTA Convention was from Sunday October 25th through Tuesday October 27th at the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells. Thanks to all who came! Linked below are the materials from various presentations at the convention:
1. Best Management Practices & Permitting of Municipal Transportation Projects (Culverts):
Part 1 Part 2 BMPs for Culverts Transportation Liaison Contact Info
2. Recycling Responsible Unit (RU) Basics, Program Efficiencies and Update
3. Basic Principals of Alcohol Beverage Licensing in Wisconsin: New Laws You Need to Know
4. Government Accountability Board Election Training
5. Basics of a Good Rural Road
Characteristics of a Well Built Road
Traffic Safety and Traffic Engineering
Road Maintenance and Operations
Car v. Truck Esals
6. UW-Extension Broadband & E-Commerce Education Center
Broadband Policies and Regulations for Wisconsin Stakeholders
Broadband Funding Opportunities
Kotter's 8 Steps of Change
7. Implements of Husbandry
8. Why Should Our Town Have an Audit?
9. Environmental TID Open Doors to Redevelopment
10. The Public Lands Survey System
11. Planning From the Outside-In
Updated IOH Ordinances Now Available
(10/2/15) The original Implements of Husbandry law came into being with 2013 Wisconsin Act 377. However, the law was significantly updated with 2015 Wisconsin Act 15. Act 15 changed several things, including the use of trailers to transport Implements of Husbandry (IOHs) and Agricultural Commercial Motor Vehicles (Ag CMVs). A new classification of Ag CMV called a Type 1 was also created to give some Ag CMVs the same legal treatment as Category B IOHs.
If your town currently is under Option F, the default under the law, and you want to remain under Option F you do not need to do anything at this time.
Any town that wants either to change to or even to simply stay in an existing Option B, C, D or E, is urged to adopt an updated ordinance prior to November 30 of this year. Act 15 moved up the deadline to adopt different options to November 30 of the prior year. Sample ordinances are available in word format by clicking on it below:
The Department of Transportation's Internet site on the IOH law is here:
There is an upcoming WisLine presentation including the recent changes to the IOH law on October 12. For more information on that, please CLICK HERE.
Finally, please note that there will be two workshops at the upcoming WTA Convention also covering the recent changes to the IOH law.
Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance:
Towns Tax & Spend Far Less Than Cities & Villages
(7/16/15) The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance issued a press release on July 14, 2015 describing its latest report that is specifically on town finance, titled "How Do Towns Measure Up: A Closer Look At Town Finance." It concludes that Wisconsin's towns both tax and also spend far less than the state's cities and villages. For a copy of the press release, please CLICK HERE.
The Northern Office Newsletter
Now on Their Website Page
(7/16/15) The State of Wisconsin's Northern Office now has its newsletter, The Northern Connection, on its website. You can see the latest as well as some past editions there. The website is new and should have additional information on it over time.
The Northern Office serves as a connection point between communities in Northern Wisconsin and the resources of state government.
Governor Signs 2015-17 State Budget:
2015 Wisconsin Act 55
Governor Signs AB 165/SB 113:
2015 Wisconsin Act 41
(7/2/15) Several town officers made the trip to Madison to be present on July 1, 2015 when the Governor signed a WTA legislative priority into law: AB 165/SB 113 is now 2015 Wisconsin Act 41. Act 41 was published on July 2, 2015 and is Wisconsin law on July 3, 2015.
Majority of Assembly Republicans
Sign Letter Supporting Local Projects
(6/23/15) Please CLICK HERE for a copy of a letter signed by 33 of the 63 members of the Assembly's Republican Caucus. The letter asks that as the state budget process continues, both houses of the legislature and the Governor consider the statewide impact of transportation finance decisions. Specifically, that budgeting choices should have a fair and equal impact statewide, because discussion of excluding the Southeast Megaprojects (including the Zoo Interchange) from any cuts or timeline delays would disproportionately affect their constituents and taxpayers who are outside of the Milwaukee area.
If you see your legislator on the letter, please thank them for supporting town highways!
Small Employer Health Insurance
Payment or Reimbursement Plans
May Violate Affordable Care Act
(6/23/15) Please CLICK HERE for a copy of an important notice that was printed in the May and June WTA newsletters regarding the end of towns' ability to use a traditional means of employee fringe benefits related to health insurance. Local governments in violation of the Internal Revenue Service's interpretations on the applicability of the Affordable Care Act on this point can be subject to penalties after June 30, 2015.
Materials from Feb. 17 IOH Webinar
Recorded Session Now Available
(3/2/15) CLICK HERE for a link to the web site containing the materials from the recent webinar on IOH permitting.
While there click on the .wmv file to watch and listen to the recorded IOH webinar.
Local Government Issues Featured
Recently on Wisconsin Eye
(12/19/14) Wisconsin Eye recently interviewed the Executive Directors from the three local government associations in Wisconsin. You can view a few minutes of the 30 minute show if you CLICK HERE or the entire show if you CLICK HERE.
WTA Executive Director, Mike Koles, is featured in the short clip responding to the question about WTA legislative priorities: “Transportation is our #1 issue... There are a couple of watershed moments we’re embarking on. One of them is transportation. Are we going to fund transportation in a long term, equitable, and sustainable manner? The local control issue is going to come up as well, and, for us, we believe strongly in local control and I’m looking forward to the discussion.”
Local Government Institute Study
on Local Transportation Issues & Needs
(12/19/14) “The Local Government Institute (LGI), which includes the Wisconsin Counties Association, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities and the Wisconsin Towns Association commissioned and released a Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance report entitled Filling the Potholes: A New Look at Funding Local Transportation in Wisconsin on Wednesday, December 10, 2014. The study was intended to look at the issues impacting the funding of local transportation budgets and develop recommendations for fixing the problem.
“This report shows what we’ve already known, that manufacturing, farming, and trucking make up a larger share of jobs and wages that any other state except Indiana,” said Wisconsin Towns Association Executive Director Mike Koles. “In addition, strong roads boost our $11 billion tourism industry. For Wisconsin to grow and thrive, we can’t wait any longer to invest in our infrastructure.”
Please click on any of the below links to see further information:
NATaT Legislative Update
(7/16/15) WTA posts weekly legislative updates from the National Association of Towns and Townships. Please see the current as well as past issues on the Legislative page.