Minnesota Tea Party Says Vote Not To Local Sales Tax
- Apr 18, 2012 | Susan McLain
Rochester, Minnesota has a local option sales tax of one-half cent. The sales tax was temporary. It was approved back in 1983 as a temporary measure to “…help pay for flood control in the wake of a devastating flood in 1978.” In November, “…city residents will vote whether to extend the sales tax to raise $139.5 million” to go toward projects such as a new senior center, University of Minnesota – Rochester facilities, transportation upgrades and other projects geared at regional economic development.
Former Republican House candidate Mike Rolih thinks the list is “questionable.” He helped form Citizens Organized to Stop the Tax (COST). They want to fight the sales tax. According to their website, “[v]agueness of project proposals leaves open expenditures for virtually anything.” Previously, the tax was renewed and used for specifically defined projects such as college buildings and upgrading the highway.
In a rousing speech, Rolih declared he was tired of paying the “temporary” sales tax. But the audience also had at least one pro-tax individual in attendance—Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce President John Wade. Wade says “…it is important to realize that roughly $60 million in infrastructure projects will still have to be done even if the tax doesn’t pass. That means those projects will be paid for with the property taxes instead.” He feels that using the sales tax presents a “bargain for the taxpayer” for the amount of services the taxpayer will receive.