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Tuesday - September 11, 2018 11:55 pm

One city council member a solid 'no' on wheel tax

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One La Crosse city council member is a definite 'no' on a proposed wheel tax for the city.

North side council representative Scott Neumeister said residents in the city have enough taxes without adding another one — although he recognizes the city's current focus on road repairs requires tough choices in funding city projects.

"We have many needs but everybody that I've ever talked to wants the roads fixed," Neumeister said. "It's a difficult position to put in because there are many great needs and people are going to be disappointed no matter what route we take."

In a newly released infrastructure spending plan for the city for 2019, Mayor Tim Kabat calls for spending $9.2 million on streets, alleys and bridges. Kabat says the city can spend another $1.29 million if the city council approves a new $25 per vehicle wheel tax.

"I don't really care for the road tax, personally," Neumeister said. "I think it's just another taxation that we don't need."

As it stands, the mayor has drawn out a plan that involves rebuilding 5.5 miles of city streets. The $9.2 million to be spent in 2019 is an amount that continues to be three to four times higher than the city would regularly spend prior to Kabat becoming mayor.

"I think there's no doubt that our priorities are on roads and infrastructure," Neumeister said. "It's been clear, since the mayor talked about it late last year, that that was going to be our priority this year, and that's where it's been."

A vote the wheel tax by the city council could come as soon as next month.

Last modified on Wednesday - September 12, 2018 2:26 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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