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Higher than predicted tax rate, but still a decrease for La Crosse taxpayers

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It’s a tax break, just not quite what was promised.

La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat reached a deal this week on a spending plan for the city. It still includes a tax break but just not as much.

The new plan means a city property tax savings of about $7 for the median valued home for next year bumping the city tax bill up $15 over what Kabat had promised.

It’s still not a bad plan, says the city council’s most conservative member, Doug Happel, who appreciates Kabat’s drive to keep taxes from increasing in the city. Kabat had originally proposed a budget that would have meant a $22 savings for the median home owner.

“They’ve been able to hold the line on taxes — a very minimal decrease in taxes,” Happel said. “It looks good. There’s always the potential of few last adjustments given state aids and so forth and so on, but it looks quite good.

That $72 million operating budget plan will get a vote during a special meeting next month. Part of the adjustment process involved a little trimming around the edges to come up with a little cash to get the rebuild of Memorial Pool underway

“Some efforts in which we were able to still do without raising taxes but in order to get the pool started in 2019 rather than having to wait until 2020,” Happel said.

Happel is among those on the council who agree with Kabat’s philosophy of preventing growth of the city’s property tax rate, though it’s something that will happen next year, barring some last-minute adjustments from the state.

The council votes Thursday night on a plan to fund roads, parks and other infrastructure.