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Room tax and county funding are concerns for La Crosse Center

Brad Williams

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A plan to raise the hotel room tax in La Crosse will come up for a city council vote Thursday night. 

Committees have already endorsed an increase in the 8 percent tax to 9.5 percent, to help pay for the $42 million La Crosse Center expansion. 

So far, no monetary help has been promised by La Crosse County. 

Center board chair Brent Smith spoke with county board chair Tara Johnson about that on Tuesday. Smith said Johnson confirmed that the county won’t decide on Center funding until late this year.   

Smith says the Center, the city of La Crosse and the local convention bureau will all take temporary cuts in funding from the room tax if it is increased.

Also at the Tuesday meeting, Smith and the rest of the center board saw new design proposals from the project architects.    

The main arena will be included in the improvements, with the Center staff looking at replacing many of the seats installed when the building opened 40 years ago.  

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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