It would be nice to have a new car. The hard part is always how to pay for it. Most people thinking of making such a big investment may save some of their hard-earned money, or they may go to a bank to get a loan. But you have to have some sort of plan. Not so, seemingly, for the city of La Crosse. The city has endorsed plans to spend more than $40 million for an expansion of the La Crosse Center. But the city still doesn’t know how its going to pay for it. The Mayor has proposed a sharp hike in the room tax, but the Visitors Bureau argues that will drive conventions away. The very conventions they are trying to attract with a fancy new arena. Raising the property tax isn’t so attractive, given most homeowners just saw a huge jump in their assessments and fear a big tax hike. Now Mayor Kabat is suggesting other communities pitch in, arguing the La Crosse Center is used by more than just residents of the city of La Crosse. He is right, given that nearly half of events booked at the center in recent years were booked by people in neighboring communities. Kabat may be persuasive enough to encourage Onalaska and Holmen and La Crosse County to help foot the bill. But shouldn’t have how we are going to pay for this pricey investment have been the first question to be answered, not the last?