La Crosse County proposing tourism tax

La Crosse County proposing tourism tax

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - Running out of options to pay for road maintenance, officials with La Crosse County are considering a tax on area tourism.

State law, if authorized by legislature, allows La Crosse county to enact a Premier Resort Area tax to help cover the county's nearly 90 million dollars of incomplete repairs to its transportation infrastructure.

In order to be considered a "Premiere resort area," 40% of the taxable property within a municipality or county must be used by tourism based services.  If a municipality or county doesn't reach that threshold, it must be authorized by state legislature in order to be considered a Premiere resort area.

Tourism related businesses within La Crosse County would be taxed a half of a percent of every dollar of revenue which would result in close to 6 million dollars of annual funds for transportation needs.

"It's taking the burden off of property tax payers --local property tax payers-- and spreading that infrastructure cost burden to visitors and people who come here to take advantage of tourism related services," said Tara Johnson, chair of the La Crosse County Board.

The tax has been imposed in other municipalities in the state but has never been tried throughout an entire county.

The County Board will decide on Thursday if county residents will vote on the proposal on the April 4th ballot.

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