Resolved by the Senate, the Assembly concurring, That section 31 of article IV of the constitution be amended by adding at the end the following: Except that the legislature may enact special legislation with reference to the city at which is located the seat of government and the State University, including the power to amend the city charter of such city and its debt limit.
SECTION 6. For the purpose of defraying extraordinary expenditures and for the purpose of acquiring by purchase or condemnation lands for public purposes and for the permanent improvement thereof, the state may contract public debts and issue its bonds therefor (but such debts shall never in the aggregate exceed * * * at one time one per centum on the value of the taxable property of the state as last determined by the duly constituted state authority). 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, in case of any debt contracted for defraying extraordinary expenditures, 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 in case of any debt contracted in the acquisition of land or for the permanent improvement thereof, every such law shall provide for levying an annual tax sufficient to pay the annual interest of such debt and the principal within a period of not exceeding fifty 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the proceeds of such taxes to the payment of such principal and interest; and such appropriation shall not be repealed, nor the taxes be postponed or diminished, until the principal and interest of such debt shall have been wholly paid.
SECTION 3. It shall be the duty of the legislature, and they are hereby empowered, to provide for the organization of cities and incorporated villages, and to restrict their power of taxation, assessment, borrowing money, contracting debts, and loaning their credit, so as to prevent abuses in assessments and taxation, and in contracting debts by such municipal corporations. No county, city, town, village, school district, or other municipal corporation shall be allowed to become indebted in any manner or for any purpose to any amount, including existing indebtedness, in the aggregate exceeding five per centum on the value of [p. 168] the taxable property therein, to be ascertained by the last assessment for state and county taxes previous to the incurring of such indebtedness. 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 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 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 years from the time of contracting the same.
Joint Resolution to amend article XI of the Wisconsin State constitution by adding thereto a new section to be known as Section 3a, relating to the acquisition of lands by the state or any of its cities for certain public purposes.
SECTION 3a. The state or any of its cities may acquire by gift, purchase, or condemnation lands for establishing, laying out, widening, enlarging, extending, and maintaining memorial grounds, streets, squares, parkways, boulevards, parks, playgrounds, sites for public buildings, and reservations in and about and along and leading to any or all of the same; and after the establishment, lay-out, and completion of such improvements, may convey any such real estate thus acquired and not necessary for such improvements, with reservations concerning the future use and occupation of such real estate, so as to protect such public works and improvements, and their environs, and to preserve the view, appearance, light, air, and usefulness of such public works.
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