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City budget approved despite dissent from mayoral candidate

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - A tax increase in the newly approved city budget could factor into the mayoral race next spring.

On Tuesday, the Common Council approved the city's $97.2 million operating budget by an almost unanimous vote. Only council member Jessica Olson voted against the measure.

In September, Olson announced her intention to run for mayor in April 2021. She said during Tuesday's meeting she could not support a tax increase during the current economic climate.

Mayor Tim Kabat told News 19 that he credits the city staff for its creativity working to offset the lost revenue created by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the budget that was approved cuts some spending, including healthcare costs, and maintains current services.

However, Kabat said the city's mill rate will still increase from $10.39 per $1,000 to $10.62 per $1,000. That means a taxpayer who owns a home worth $150,000 will likely see an increase of $36 on their tax bill.

Mayor Kabat noted in his response to News 19 that the overall tax levy in the city is down from what it was when he first took office in 2013.

Dustin Luecke

Dustin Luecke anchors News 19 Daybreak weekday mornings.

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