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Yesterday in La Crosse

Where does the room tax go? A question 28 years ago

Brad Williams



In 1991, the Wisconsin Assembly was considering a bill to split up hotel room taxes more equally among groups that would benefit from the money. The bill would require one-third of local room tax revenue to be given to visitor bureaus. At that time, La Crosse had a 5 per cent tax on hotel and motel rooms, compared to the recent vote for a 9-and-a-half per cent tax in the city. In 1991, the convention and visitor bureau got 59 per cent of the La Crosse room tax, with the rest going to the La Crosse Center and City Hall.

The La Crosse Center hosted a 4th of July ceremony that year, to welcome back local veterans of the Persian Gulf war. The Center event followed a holiday parade through downtown. At the end of the brief war, ABC conducted a poll on what should happen to Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein, after the war. Seventy-five per cent said Saddam should be ousted. He stayed in power until the next Iraq war, 12 years later.

Viewers of Channel 8 in La Crosse criticized the TV station for showing infomercials in prime time, instead of the regular nightly programs from CBS. The station said it was trying to make up for losing subsidy money from the network. Prime-time shows that summer included Roseanne, Matlock, and Rescue: 911…in 1991, yesterday in La Crosse.

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