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Room tax increase passed by city council

Brad Williams

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La Crosse’s hotel room tax will be rising soon. 

The city council voted Thursday night to increase the existing 8 percent tax to 9.5 percent, as a way to help pay off improvements to the La Crosse Center. 

Mayor Tim Kabat has spoken with leaders from La Crosse County and the city of Onalaska, but he has not gotten commitments from either entity to pay for the Center project.

The county wants to wait until budget time this fall before making any spending commitments, and Onalaska has not decided yet.  

Only two council members opposed the increase, including Jessica Olson, who hopes that the increase does not have an adverse effect on too many businesses.

Kabat says if Onalaska and La Crosse County choose not to chip in for the $42 million La Crosse Center project, the city tax levy would cover the amount being requested of those governments.