La Crosse balances 2023 budget with ARPA funds, warns following year will not be as easy

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — The La Crosse Common Council unanimously approved the 2023 operating budget, but the finance director warned council members it will not be as easy next year.

The city used ARPA funds to balance the budget. Those are one-time funds. The city’s finance director says if the state does not increase the shared revenue La Crosse receives, taxpayers will receive fewer services or pay more for them.

“There isn’t a magic wand that we can do without, without an increase in taxes in my experience. It usually includes additional revenue from referendums which would increase, increase taxes,” Chadwick Hawkins said.

The council also voted in favor of a new fee schedule. The costs of some public records requests, alcohol licenses, and construction permits are going up. The snow removal fee will go down.