2017 Levy Limit Law Changes

October 5, 2017

To: Municipal Clerks and Treasurers
      County Clerks and Treasurers


Within the 2017-19 state budget (2017 Wisconsin Act 59), the state amended sec. 66.0602, Wis. Stats. A summary of the changes that are effective for December 2017 tax levies which impact 2017 municipal and county levy limits is listed below.


Negative Debt Adjustments

  • Amends sec. 66.0602(2m)(a), Wis. Stats.
  • Effective December 2017 tax levies
  • Requires a reduction of levy limit if the tax levy for debt service authorized prior to July 1, 2005, is less in the current year compared to prior year
  • Every municipality or county is required to reduce their levy limit if this applies
  • There is no longer an exception provided if the municipality or county does not use the allowable increase calculated in Sec. B of the Levy Limit Worksheet (under sec. 66.0602(3)(f)1., Wis. Stats.)
  • The reduction would be reported in Sec. D, Line B of your Levy Limit Worksheet

Covered Services - Definition Change

  • Amends sec. 66.0602(2m)(b)1., Wis. Stats.
  • Effective December 2017 tax levies
  • The covered service "fire protection" no longer includes the production, storage, transmission, sale and delivery, or furnishing of water for public fire protection purposes
  • This refers to the Public Service Commission's public fire protection fee (also known as "hydrant rental fee")
  • Note: this does not apply to "covered services" adjustments (reductions) completed in prior years

Referendum Requirements

  • Amends secs. 66.0602(4)(a) and (c), Wis. Stats.
  • Effective for resolutions on or after September 23, 2017, and subsequent referendums
  • Applies to municipalities and counties that must have approval by referendum to exceed their levy limit
  • Requires the governing body's resolution and the referendum ballot to include the purpose of the tax levy increase

2018 Levy Limit Changes

Effective for December 2018 tax levies, DOR will amend the calculation of the allowable levy limit increase and levy limit to account for the new personal property aid being distributed under sec. 79.096, Wis. Stats. More information to come.

If you have questions, contact us at lgs@wisconsin.gov.