Christopher J. Jaekels
Shareholder

Location: Milwaukee
T: 414.225.1409
F: 414.278.3609
111 E. Kilbourn Avenue, Suite 1400
Milwaukee, WI 53202-6613

Publications: Attorney Christopher J. Jaekels


  • Property Owners Who Deny Access to Tax Assessors Are Now Able to Appeal to Board of Review or Circuit Court

    July 7, 2017

    On July 7, 2017, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held in Milewski v. Town of Dover – 2015AP1523 that the denial of the right to appeal a property tax assessment based on the tax payer’s refusal to grant access to the assessor for inspection, violates the tax payer’s due process rights under the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 1 of the Wisconsin Constitution. The decision addressed Wisconsin Statutes § 70.47(7)(aa) (denying access to Board of Review) and § 74.37(4)(a) (denying access to Circuit Court) and determined that while the statutes are not unconstitutional on their...



  • Your Property At Risk: U.S. Supreme Court Decision Confirms Importance of Understanding Zoning During Real Estate Acquisitions

    June 28, 2017

    The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution requires federal, state and local governments to pay “just compensation” any time they “take” private property for public use. On June 23, 2017, in a close 5-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a Wisconsin zoning ordinance that combined two adjacent lots with common owners into a single lot did not result in a regulatory taking by the county government. As a result of the decision in Murr v. Wisconsin, what were previously two distinct parcels of real property are now a single indivisible lot. The Murr Property and Alleged Taking The two...



  • Notice Requirements for Rezoning: What Municipalities and Property Owners Need to Know and Do to Protect Their Rights

    August 24, 2016

    Property Owners Are Not Entitled to Notice of Rezoning Unless They Request it in Writing Under Wisconsin law, municipalities are not required to directly notify the owners of properties subject to rezoning. Generally, public notice (posting and newspaper publication) is sufficient notice under Section 62.23, Wis. Stats. to allow zoning change ordinances to be effective. Municipalities Must Keep a List of Those Who Request Notice Despite the general language of Section 62.23, Wis. Stats., under Section 62.23(7)(d)4, municipalities are required to “maintain a list of persons who submit a written request to receive notice of any proposed rezoning action that affects the allowable...



  • Time-of-Sale Requirements Now Prohibited for Sellers, Buyers, and to Take Occupancy

    April 27, 2016

    The Wisconsin Legislature recently doubled down on its prohibition of municipal time-of-sale requirements. As of July 14, 2015, municipalities could no longer require an owner to make certain improvements and show code compliance before selling a property. As of March 2, 2016, those prohibitions also apply to buyers of real property and to take occupancy of residential property. Under Wis. Stat. § 706.22, created by budget bill 2015 Wisconsin Act 55, a municipality may not restrict an owner’s ability to sell, transfer, or refinance property by requiring the following actions with respect to the property before, at, or immediately after...



  • IRS Proposes Regulations to Reduce Tax Incentives on Food and Beverage Manufacturers

    February 4, 2016

    Every business in the Food and Beverage Industry, large and small, should consider the effectiveness of the manufacturing deduction (also known as Section 199 deduction) as part of its business plan in 2016. The tax incentive represents an incredibly valuable benefit for businesses that perform manufacturing and other production activities. While the computations behind the deduction can be daunting, more businesses are finding the effort worthwhile in tax savings. The tax benefit for this incentive has become so great that the IRS is now trying to curtail the deduction by aggressively imposing their administrative powers, to try to overcome judicial decisions...



  • IRS Form 1023-EZ: Nonprofits Rejoice – but is the Potential for Fraud Real?

    December 14, 2014

    On July 1, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Form 1023-EZ, a streamlined alternative to the venerable IRS standard-bearer in the world of nonprofits – Form 1023 Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3). The original Form 1023, weighing in at a robust 26 pages (including 7 schedules), can be burdensome, especially for small, volunteer based charities. For such nonprofits, the potential benefits were, quite simply, trumped by the significant commitment of time, money and organizational resources necessary to file the original Form 1023. Yet, due to the administrative oversight needed to process the lengthy Form 1023 applications, the...



  • Are You Protecting Your Digital Assets?

    October 31, 2013

    Now more than ever, the Internet is a repository for information from all aspects of our lives – everything from essential financial and email accounts to social networks and your family photo albums. As more and more people transition their financial lives from the file cabinet to the cloud, what should you be doing to ensure that your digital life isn’t destined for a black hole in cyberspace? Recent studies (by Pew Internet and American Life Project) show that since June 2012, half of all American adults who are 65 and older are online, and since December 2011, 65 percent...



  • U.S. Supreme Court Rejection of Section 3 of Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Unleashes Tax Opportunities and Uncertainties

    July 8, 2013

    On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in U.S. v. Windsor. Aside from the significant impact on employee benefit plans, the decision has broad tax implications for same-sex couples. For one, same-sex couples may now file joint federal tax returns if the couple lives in a state that recognizes their marriage. It should be noted, however, that joint returns are not always beneficial. If both partners in a same-sex marriage have high taxable incomes, filing a joint return could result in more taxes being paid. For example, the...



  • Beware of Annual Meeting Minutes Scam

    February 1, 2013

    Wisconsin businesses are currently being targeted by a scam from a company called Corporate Records Service, which requests business owners to fill out an Annual Minutes Form and pay a $125.00 fee to a Madison mailbox using an enclosed envelope. The State of Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions ("DFI") has issued a press release warning business owners of the scam and affirming that businesses are not required by the DFI or any other state agency to complete the form or pay the requested fee. The form cites Wisconsin statutes and has an official appearance, with a header that states "2013 -...



  • JOBS Act Update: Proposed Rules Under Federal Law Expanding Ability to Raise Money

    January 17, 2013

    The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (or "JOBS Act") was signed into law on April 5, 2012. Its intent was to stimulate job growth by making it easier and less expensive for smaller businesses, such as start-ups and entrepreneurial companies, to raise capital. However, due to delay in enactment of rules required to effectuate key provisions, its implementation remains uncertain. Highlights of the JOBS Act's key provisions include: Reporting Companies. Increase of threshold at which a privately-held company is required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") to become a publicly reporting company under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934...



  • Intro to Private Equity-Venture Investors Equity Dilution Issues (Part One)

    September 13, 2012

    When a private equity, venture capital or other venture investor firm is considering an investment in a target company, the venture firm will consider whether a one time capital infusion will be sufficient for the venture firm to achieve its return on investment goals. For example, a target company may only require a one-time investment in order to grow to the next level, or the investor may be able to purchase control of the target with a single purchase price payment. However, private equity groups and other sophisticated investors often invest in companies which require several rounds of financing in...



  • Risk Factors of Seller Financing in Merger & Acquisition Deals

    September 11, 2012

    Although merger and acquisition activity has decreased during the economic downturn and bank loans have become difficult to obtain, many small and medium-sized businesses are still being bought and sold. Some banks require buyers to invest more of their own money in deals as a condition of obtaining a loan. Therefore, seller financing has significantly increased to bridge the gap between a company's sale price, the amount of investor funds and bank loans available to meet the purchase price. In its simplest terms, seller financing means that the seller receives a promissory note from the buyer for a portion of...



  • New Federal Law Expands the Ability of Companies to Raise Money and Reduces Regulatory Burdens of Going Public

    September 11, 2012

    In the last two weeks major legislation has been enacted by the federal government which significantly changes the rules under which companies can access capital markets to raise money for growth, while simultaneously reducing the costs, regulations and burdens of going public. The intent of the new legislation is to stimulate the economy by improving access to capital for start up and entrepreneurial companies. The "JOBS ACT" or the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, recognizes a new category of company which it calls an Emerging Growth Company, or "EGC." Generally speaking, any company with under $1 Billion of revenue can...



  • Transfers of a Family Business: Choosing The Next CEO

    August 23, 2012

    When one child has been active in a family business, and he or she wants to take over the business when the founder retires, deciding the second generation CEO obviously, involves a relatively simple analysis. Nevertheless, leadership transitions in a family business are always susceptible to complications -- some of which can be anticipated and some of which cannot. This article provides a summary of many factors that can impact the choice of a next generation CEO. Skill Sets. Should a child be the CEO if she is an excellent salesperson but is lacking in operational skills? What about the...



  • Letters of Intent - How Much Detail?

    August 7, 2012

    After an interested Buyer has looked over an acquisition target's preliminary financials and performed some initial due diligence, it is customary in M&A practice for the Buyer to give the Seller a Letter of Intent ("LOI") outlining the basic terms and conditions of the proposed transaction. One issue rarely discussed in articles and seminars about buying a business is how detailed the LOI should be. Obviously, the answer to this question depends on a myriad of factors and each deal is different. Since the LOI is not the final purchase agreement, it will never contain the amount of detail nor...



  • Recent Changes to Wisconsin's Landlord-Tenant Law

    August 2, 2012

    On March 31, 2012, Wisconsin Act 143 went into effect with some very important changes to Wisconsin's landlord-tenant law. Here are some brief descriptions of the key changes: Ban of Moratoriums on Eviction Actions. Municipalities are no longer able to hold moratoriums on evictions. Prohibited Lease Provisions. There are now eight provisions prohibited in leases that, if present, cause the entire lease to be void. Seven of these prohibited provisions were previously listed in the Wisconsin Administrative Code's Residential Rental Practices. The eighth provision prohibits a lease from containing a provision allowing a landlord to terminate a lease due to...



  • Effect of Bank Credit Downgrades on M&A Deals

    July 20, 2012

    Fifteen of the largest "too big to fail" banks recently sustained serious downgrades to their credit ratings from one or more credit rating agencies. M&A transactions that require some level of bank financing will be affected to a limited degree, in the future as lenders attempt to regain their formerly more favorable ratings. These downgrades will impact M&A transactions by limiting the capital available to fund deals. Deal terms also will get tougher as lenders seek to improve their balance sheets and risk profiles. Paradoxically, some commentators expect banks to assume more risk by engaging in derivatives and other forms...



  • Ten Factors to Remember About Capital Gains and Losses

    February 24, 2011

    Did you know almost everything you own, be it for personal or investment purposes, is a capital asset? Capital assets include your home, furnishings, stocks and bonds, and many other assets held for personal use. When a capital asset is sold, the difference between the amount you paid for the asset and the amount for which you sold it is generally a capital gain or capital loss. As tax season approaches, here are ten factors to remember about gains and losses and how they can affect your Federal income tax return. 1. Almost everything you own and use for personal...



  • Understanding Earnouts in M&A Deals

    January 12, 2011

    In today's merger and acquisition environment, buyers and sellers often have very different views of the value of the company to be acquired. Sellers believe their business is worth more than the diminished profitability of the past few years indicates, and they attempt to increase the purchase price by emphasizing the business' overall historical success. Sellers usually assume profitability will be resurrected and that they should not be penalized due to what they view as a severe, but temporary recession. Buyers, on the other hand, do not want to pay a price which substantially ignores the company's relatively reduced recent...



  • Extension of Tax-Free IRA Distributions to Qualified Charities

    January 11, 2011

    For the last several years, a special tax law allowed individuals age 70 ½ or older to direct up to $100,000 of income tax-free IRA distributions to qualified charities during each year from 2006 through 2009. However, this provision expired on December 31, 2009. Recently, the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the “Act”), signed into law on December 17, 2010, extended this provision for 2010 and 2011. Similar to the prior tax law, the Act allows an individual who is at least age 70 ½ at the time of the IRA distribution to direct...



  • Temporary Guidance Provided under the Tax Relief Act of 2010

    January 11, 2011

    The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the “Act”) was signed into law on December 17, 2010. Albeit temporary, the Act provides some clarity regarding the federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax systems for the next two years. This Client Alert will summarize the key provisions of the new Act most likely to impact you.Estate Tax Exemption Increased to $5 MillionFor 2011 and 2012, the federal estate tax exemption has been increased to $5 million per person from the previous 2009 exemption of $3.5 million (see special discussion regarding deaths occurring in 2010 below)....



  • New Law Punts the Ultimate Fate of the Bush-era Tax Cuts - Look For Intense Debate in 2012

    December 20, 2010

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARYOn December 17, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4853 – 2010 Tax Relief Act). In addition to extending the Bush-era tax cuts, the new law also provides for an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) “patch,” a one-year payroll tax cut, 100 percent bonus depreciation through 2011 and additional income tax breaks. The new law adopts a 24-month tax vacation for decedents dying in 2011 – 2012, implementing a new 35 percent tax rate, a $5 million exclusion (per person) and additional short-term relief detailed below. From a tax...



  • Determining the Price of a Family Business

    December 1, 2010

    When a parent who owns a business intends to transfer the business to a new owner who is not a family member, it is obvious the business will be sold for the highest price obtainable. However, when the company is to be transferred to one or more of the owner’s children, the family has to decide if the transfer will be a full value sale, a complete gift, a sale at a discounted price, or a combination of sale and gift—for either full value or discounted value. This article considers the factors a family should consider as it decides how...



  • Risk Factors of Seller Financing in Merger & Acquisition Deals

    July 31, 2010

    Although merger and acquisition activity has decreased during the economic downturn and bank loans have become difficult to obtain, many small and medium-sized businesses are still being bought and sold. Some banks require buyers to invest more of their own money in deals as a condition of obtaining a loan. Therefore, seller financing has significantly increased to bridge the gap between a company's sale price, the amount of investor funds and bank loans available to meet the purchase price. In its simplest terms, seller financing means that the seller receives a promissory note from the buyer for a portion of...



  • A Summary of Wisconsin Commercial Real Estate Foreclosure Law

    February 11, 2010

    Given the current deluge of commercial real estate foreclosures, many lenders, property owners, tenants, developers, investors and out-of-state entities involved in the real estate or lending businesses have asked for a simple summary of Wisconsin foreclosure procedure and substantive law. Perhaps the most important consideration is that, although some states allow more expedited procedures, Wisconsin only allows judicial foreclosures....



  • Davis & Kuelthau Infrastructure Stimulus Team

    February 5, 2009

    Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. has formed a team of attorneys to assist public sector and private sector clients with the Federal infrastructure stimulus program known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009 (H.R. 1) that the House of Representatives passed on January 28, 2009. The Governor also recently created the Office of Recovery and Reinvestment designed to direct Stimulus Bill funds to state projects.The $550 billion of targeted spending currently proposed in the Stimulus Bill will have a considerable impact on municipalities, school districts, contractors, and suppliers in the State of Wisconsin. The rapid deployment of these funds...



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