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Sunday - June 10, 2018 10:23 pm

Options still out there, but higher tax levy likely with expansion of La Crosse Center Featured

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It’s almost a certainty property taxpayers in La Crosse aren’t going to get away without paying something towards an expanded convention center.

How much isn't exactly clear but city council member Jessica Olson says you can't borrow $43 million towards a bigger Center unless the city either decreases borrowing elsewhere or raises taxes.

“There is clearly going to be an impact to the taxpayer,” Olson said. “Just no way to make this neutral unless you drastically impact the capital improvement budget we need for our neighborhoods.”

Should the city maintain current levels of borrowing for things like streets and parks — about $7.5 million per year — the La Crosse Center expansion will cost the owner of a $120,000 home $1,200 over the next 20 years under the new borrowing plan getting a vote by the full city council on Thursday.

For that $120,000 homeowner, the first year would cost $3 in extra taxes. That would balloon to $140 by year 20.

“I’m looking at these numbers,” Olson said, “and I’m not seeing something that would cause a drastic harm.”

Olson, who represents the council on the La Crosse Center Board, added that it's going to be well worth the cost.

“This is huge,” she said. “This is very critical to the future of our city.”

The entire expansion will cost $49 million. Projections are the expansion would have a $12.1 million annual economic impact on the city.

Last modified on Monday - June 11, 2018 6:17 am
Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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