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Kabat 2019 budget plan lowers city property taxes, slightly increases spending



A slight increase in spending for the city of La Crosse in 2019.

That’s part of the plan proposed by Mayor Tim Kabat Monday in city hall.

Kabat’s plan also features lower city property taxes for the next two years, while still doing things like fully funding the city’s Neighborhood Resource Officer program, maintaining library hours and funding neighborhood initiatives.

“We are meeting our goals,” Kabat said, “when it comes to our service levels, our programs, working in partnerships with many of our nonprofits, our businesses and our citizens to build our neighborhoods, and we’re accountable to the taxpayer.”

Under Kabat’s $71.87 million plan, owner of a median priced $121,500 home would save $22 next year.

Kabat says while the city is allowed to increase property taxes next year more than he’s recommending, he doesn’t see why that would be needed

“We are being disciplined that way,” he said. “We’re not necessarily, at least I’m not recommending we levy to the max just because we can.

“We put together program services, we figure out how to fund them and then we tax for that and not a penny more.”

The city council still needs to weigh in on the plan, and Kabat is ready to defend it, including the property tax break that is similar to years past.

During those past debates, the city council has looked to raise taxes to the maximum level and battled with Kabat over the issue.

“As we have had discussions in past years,” Kabat said, “there has been calls by the council at times to raise and levy a bit more than I had proposed, and I’m expecting that will be a conversation again.”

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