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La Crosse city council passes 2022 budget, planning to use fed relief funds to avoid tax hikes

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Millions in relief funding from the federal government could help the city of La Crosse maintain services for the coming year.

The city council voted unanimously on the $67.5 million 2022 budget Monday night, deciding to opt out — for at least one year — from a statewide program to limit local government spending.

Mayor Mitch Reynolds said a number of spending cuts were made before a preliminary budget was discussed in October.

The October budget plan “included significant cuts to parks, streets, and public safety,” Reynolds said. “This provided us a minimal tax levy increase of about 2 percent and got us underneath the Expenditure Restraint Program (ERP).”

That program allows Wisconsin cities to withdraw from participation if needed.

Council member Scott Neumeister supported the idea of avoiding tax increases.

“We are taxed to death in La Crosse, Wisconsin,” Neumeister said. “That’s why we continue to lose residents to our surrounding cities.”

The federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds can be used to restore some jobs that were cut due to the pandemic, including three staffers from the public library, as well as other positions from the La Crosse Center.

No members of the public signed up to comment on the budget during Monday’s hearing at the Southside Neighborhood Center.

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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1 Comment

  1. JASON FRENTZEL

    November 17, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    I THINK I HAVE A SIMPLE WAY THIS CITY CAN SAVE SOME MONEY.FIRST,STOP WITH ALL OF THE IDIOTIC ROUNDABOUTS ALL OVER TOWN. SPECIALLY IN PLACES WHERE THERE IS VIRTUALLY NO TRAFFIC TO BEGIN.NEXT, HOW MANY INSPECTORS CAN ONE CITY JUSTIFY? AS MANY AS ALL OF LOS ANGELES APPARENTLY.RIDICULOUS! I GUESS I SHOULDNT COMPLAIN,CUZ AFTER MY TYPICAL 8-10HR WORKDAY I GET TO WORK ON MY FIRST HOME(THAT COVID IS TRYING LIKE HELL TO TAKE AWAY). I CAN TAKE COMFORT KNOWING THAT THERE IS A HOTEL ROOM FOR THE LOW PRICE OF NOT PAYING IN ANY TAXES OF ANY KIND.UTILITIES AND SOME MEALS INCLUDED ON TOP.

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