St. Paul City Council to seek 1% sales tax increase for roads

The St. Paul City Council has instructed city staff to begin preparing a Nov. 7 ballot question that asks residents to raise city sales taxes by 1 percentage point — or 10 cents on every $10 sale — to fund road maintenance on city streets and bridges, as well as capital improvements at St. Paul Parks and Rec facilities.

The St. Paul mayor’s office has estimated that the proposed local option sales tax, which would cover debt service on bonds issued to finance the projects, could raise nearly $1 billion during the course of 20 years.

A resolution calling for city staff to move forward with crafting the ballot language was approved Wednesday, but the seven-member council was not unanimous.

Pointing to streets in her East Side political ward well overdue for reconstruction, Council Member Jane Prince cast the sole dissenting vote, noting “major new (Parks and Rec) capital improvements … will then add to the maintenance backlog that we already have. We’ve done a really good job in the city of finding funding for capital improvements, but a bad job of maintaining the roads that are built.”

Council Member Chris Tolbert, who chairs the city’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority, noted the city has a limited menu of options when it comes to funding street reconstructions beyond raising property taxes.

“This is our opportunity to fund roads in a way we haven’t been able to,” Tolbert said.

If approved by voters on Nov. 7, the new St. Paul sales tax would come on the heels of a new metro-wide 1% combined sales tax for public transit and housing programs, which was approved by state lawmakers toward the end of the legislative session.

Combined city, county and state sales taxes would total 9.875%, making total sales taxes in St. Paul the priciest in the state, with the likely exception of some special entertainment districts. Not every check-out item would be impacted. In Minnesota, most groceries and clothing items are exempt from state and local sales taxes.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Fallout College