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First revaluation of La Crosse property in years leads homeowners to worry



City tax assessments for La Crosse should be getting to residents’ mailboxes.

Some are upset that the value of their homes have gone up.

Mayor Mitch Reynolds said Tuesday on La Crosse Talk PM most homeowners aren’t likely to see a big tax change this year. He calculated his own home value.

“My assessment went up, like 20 percent,” Reynolds said, “and I think that that’s not unexpected, and I think a lot of folks will be seeing the same thing, 20 percent or thereabouts.”

“It really is based on what the assessed value is, versus what is the market value,” Reynolds added.

The value of some La Crosse residential properties rose sharply since the 2019 valuation, but Reynolds says the mill rate balances that out, so some tax bills will go down.

Meanwhile, the city’s tax rate is going down 19%, while the county’s is dropping by 10%.

According to the mayor, the state requires a revaluation every five years. La Crosse did property tax assessments back in 2019, but the state requires they be within 10% of market values. Since then, those values are no longer compliant.

Had the city not done the tax revaluations, state would have done the assessment at La Crosse taxpayers’ expense.

Reynolds would like to see Wisconsin’s Legislature provide more state funding to cities and towns, to help finance local services.

“We’re doing the hard work, we’re doing the heavy lifting, and the state is essentially telling us to keep making cuts to essential services like police and fire and parks and libraries,” Reynolds said. “And they, I don’t know, want to sit on their $6 billion (budget surplus) and save it for a state legislator party or something. I’m not sure what they’re planning.”

Wisconsin’s budget surplus was $4.3 million at the end of the 2022 fiscal year, according to the state Department of Administration’s numbers released Friday, which ended Jun. 30. The estimated budget was around $3 billion back in January and could be as high as $5-6 billion now.

Wisconsin also has a rainy day fund that hit its highest number in state history at $1.73 billion.

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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