Is there a deadline for adopting a municipal budget?
No. State law does not set forth a
specific date by which a municipal budget must be enacted. In the past,
the League advised that a municipal budget must be adopted by the end of
the year because villages and cities operate on a calendar fiscal year.
Wis. Stat. secs. 61.51(3) and 62.12(1).
For all practical purposes, however, the
budget should be adopted by the end of November or, at the latest, the
beginning of December. Otherwise, the municipality will be unable to
comply with certain other deadlines relating to the property tax
process. For example, village boards must determine the village’s tax
levy by December 15. Wis. Stat. sec. 61.46. Also, the municipal clerk
must transfer the tax roll to the municipal treasurer by December 8
under sec. 74.03(1), unless the sec. 74.03(2),, exception to this
deadline applies. In addition, the clerk must return the annual
“Statement of Taxes,” showing all taxes levied in the municipality, to
the Department of Revenue and County Treasurer on or before the 3rd
Monday in December. Sec. 69.61.
Moreover, many municipalities have their
tax bills printed by the county or a private service provider. In such
situations, the municipality will need to have its budget adopted in
time to comply with the county’s or private service provider’s deadline
for receiving the tax roll. Thus, practically speaking, the deadline for
adopting a budget is dictated by other deadlines, both statutory and
otherwise, designed to ensure that tax bills are sent to taxpayers by
Christmas so that taxpayers can pay their property tax bills before the
end of the year.