How much money can tavern and restaurant owners in La Crosse afford to pay for liquor licenses during the pandemic?
The city council says two specific license fees will be reduced by 90 per cent for now.
Council member Phil Ostrem was bothered that such a big cut could deprive the city of about $80,000 in revenue this year, so he proposed cutting the fees by just 50 per cent, saying the savings from the larger cut wouldn’t be enough to save any single business.
Council member Gary Padesky’s family used to run a bar, and Padesky says tavern owners would benefit from the large reduction.
“I do know how important this is to small business,” said Padesky. “Please do this for these businesses.”
Chris Kahlow of the council thinks city leaders didn’t expect the pandemic to get as bad as it has been during this winter, when they approved liquor license fees for 2021 back in November.