As I See It
New tax for La Crosse roads a longshot at best
Many Wisconsin communities are growing tired of waiting for the state to act. They are frustrated with the inaction in Madison when it comes to fixing our crumbling roads. So they are taking matters into their own hands, approving things like local wheel taxes to raise money to pay for their road needs. La Crosse County is considering a more unique option, but one which seems to have little likelihood of success. County Supervisors are considering what is called a Premier Resort Area Tax. It would potentially allow La Crosse County to institute a new tax on tourism related businesses. Supervisors are considering gauging support by putting a referendum on the April ballot. But in order for this to work, La Crosse county would first have to get approval from the state to institute the new tax. Given that no other counties have adopted this tax, and that La Crosse currently doesn’t qualify for the tax, that is far from a sure thing. It could be inserted in the budget bill, but that could take two years. And it may require yet another, this time binding referendum on the topic. And of course, that referendum would have to meet voter approval. That is a lot of hoops to jump through, with seemingly little chance of success. All of this shows just how desperate communities like La Crosse are waiting for the state to do its job and provide the money needed to fix our roads.