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The Senate Tax Reform Division, chaired by Senator Ann Rest (DFL-New Hope), considered two bills were considered related to local sales taxes.
(Published Feb 6, 2013)
Senator Tom Saxhaug (DFL-Grand Rapids) and Scott Bruns, Mayor of the city of Walker, presented SF 15, a bill that would authorize the city of Walker to impose up to a 1.5 percent general sales tax to fund underground utility, street, curb, gutter and sidewalk improvements. The bill would also authorize the city to issue bonds of up to $20 million to pay capital and administrative costs related to the improvements.
Last November, the city of Walker conducted a referendum on the sales tax proposal. Mayor Bruns indicated that 61 percent of the voters supported the sales tax proposal. Under state law, a local sales tax must be supported by a council resolution, approved by the voters and approved by the legislature through special legislation.
During the discussion of the Walker bill, Senator Rod Skoe (DFL-Clearbrook), chair of the Senate Tax Committee acknowledged that recent cuts in LGA have resulted in more requests for local sales tax authorizations but he expressed concern that many smaller cities do not have sufficient sales tax base to make a local sales tax a viable source of revenue.
The central Minnesota cities of St. Cloud, Sartell, Waite Park, Saul Rapids, St. Augusta, St. Joseph have a bill that would extend the permissible uses of the area sales tax to include regional community and aquatics facilities projects. The bill, SF 79, which is authored by Senator John Pederson (R-St. Cloud) would require voter approval for the extension of the tax.
The Central Cities sales tax bill was presented by Waite Park City Administrator Shaunna Johnson and Sauk Rapids City Administrator Ross Olson.
Both bills were laid over for possible inclusion in an omnibus tax bill.
Questions? Contact Gary Carlson at (651) 281-1255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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