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Alternative funding for City of La Crosse roads

La Crosse, (WXOW) – When driving around La Crosse this summer you may run into construction. Every year the city increases funding for road projects, but while the need continues to grow funds do not.

La Crosse Road Construction near Cass Street.
La Crosse Road Construction

Of the estimated 200 miles of roads, the city is able to fix roughly eight miles this year. With more in need of attention, the city searches for additional funding sources.

Recently Mayor Kabat proposed discussion for increasing vehicle registration fees to go towards the city, also known as a wheel tax.

While funds must come from somewhere, City Council members like Doug Happel aim to find a way that doesn’t include raising taxes.

“The answers aren’t easy,” City Council Member Doug Happel elaborates, “we need to find a solution, it needs to be done but we need to do it in a way that least impacts the people,” Happel adds.

Bulldozer doing road construction.
La Crosse Road Construction

The possibility of a wheel tax is just a discussion, no legislation has been created at this time. Happel says that if it did come to a vote, he would most likely say no.

“At some point maybe some referendums come through here and ask the people. Constituents I’ve talked to are concerned about streets and they are concerned about taxes and the two, unfortunately, bump into each other,” Happel finishes.

This Monday, the city’s Budget and Parameter Committee will hold their first meeting. The committee is tasked with creating parameters and guidelines for the 2019 budget, with the meeting starting the process.

MORE: Mayor Kabat Floats Wheel Tax Idea

Peter Lenz

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