Lanae Nickelotti has been appointed as the brand new La Crosse County finance director, changing Sharon Davidson, who has retired.
Nickelotti grew up in rural Vernon County and is a graduate of Westby Excessive College. She joined the county as a senior inside auditor in 2016, ultimately changing into the county’s deputy finance director. Nickelotti’s earlier roles embrace working as an auditor for the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau, and as a senior accountant for Johnson Block & Firm, Inc., in Viroqua.
“She has simply a wonderful and stellar background in finance,” La Crosse County Administrator Steve O’Malley mentioned, including that Nickelotti had labored to implement efficiencies throughout departments which have strengthened the county’s steadiness sheet.
Nickelotti has a level in accounting and finance with a minor in psychology from the College of Wisconsin–La Crosse. Earlier than transferring to La Crosse County, she served for a time period as a trustee for the village of Coon Valley, gaining perception into public funds from the attitude of an elected official.
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Nickelotti mentioned she additionally gained invaluable data from Davidson and can construct off the “strong accounting basis” established by the outgoing director. She is going to take over at a time when the county is in a robust place financially. The county’s 2022 finances cuts the county property tax fee and can cut back its total debt.
Nickelotti says she needs to prioritize clear communication with the county board and the general public on the funds and the way they operate. For instance, she mentioned one fashionable false impression is the extent to which the county depends on property taxes.
The county will use property tax income to fund slightly below 20% of its finances in 2022, the bottom share and lowest whole property tax for any county of comparable dimension in Wisconsin. State and federal funding, consumer charges plus gross sales tax income, contribute a lot of the remaining funding.
The county should additionally work inside property tax levy limits set by state statute. La Crosse County has the fifth lowest whole tax levy per capita of all 72 Wisconsin counties.
The levy limits, plus working by way of laws that include exterior funding, add complexity to Nickelotti’s new position, however she’s assured in her staff and enjoys fixing issues. She needs to proceed to push the county to behave strategically, moderately than reactively, in planning its spending.
“I feel we’ve achieved plenty of artistic issues by way of collaboration and innovation to actually stretch our bucks,” Nickelotti mentioned. “My aim is to proceed to fastidiously steward our public funding, whereas serving to to assist essential county packages.”
Nickelotti’s appointment was accepted by the La Crosse County Board at its Dec. 6 assembly. Study extra concerning the county’s Finance Division and consider county budgets and monetary studies right here: lacrossecounty.org/finance/.