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Dayton’s Sales Tax Plan Would Be Boon to St. Cloud Metro Cities

ST. PAUL (AP) – About two dozen Minnesota cities and counties — including the St. Cloud metro area — would see a gusher of unexpected money if Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed sales tax expansion to more items and services prevails.

The influx of additional tax revenue is because the local governments piggyback on the state’s sales tax with levies of their own. For example, the cities in the St. Cloud metro area have a half-cent sales tax option that’s been in effect since 2002.

Most of the local add-on taxes are dedicated to specific purposes, which could mean quicker repayment of public debt on building projects. For those cities, it means their local sales taxes would blink off sooner.

Other cities have more flexibility in spending dollars from local taxes that either never expire or won’t for decades.

Early estimates by the Minnesota Department of Revenue show that cities and counties with their own sales tax could expect to see 60 percent more than they take in now.

The St. Cloud metro area cities are lobbying the State Legislature to extend the local half-cent sales tax option, which is set to expire in 2018.

Here’s a look at current local sales taxes:

ALBERT LEA, 0.5 percent, authorized 2005

AUSTIN,  0.5 percent,  authorized 2006

BAXTER, 0.5 percent, authorized 2006

BEMIDJI, 0.5 percent, authorized 2005

BRAINERD, 0.5 percent, authorized 2006

ST. CLOUD AREA, 0.5 percent, authorized 2002

CLEARWATER, 0.5 percent, authorized 2008

COOK COUNTY, 1 percent, authorized 2008

DULUTH, 1 percent, authorized 1973

FERGUS FALLS, 0.5 percent, authorized 2011

HENNEPIN COUNTY, 0.15 percent, authorized 2006

HERMANTOWN, 0.5 percent, authorized 1996

HUTCHINSON, 0.5 percent, authorized 2011

LANESBORO, 0.5 percent, authorized 2011

MANKATO, 0.5 percent, authorized 1991

MINNEAPOLIS, 0.5 percent, authorized 1986

NEW ULM, 0.5 percent, authorized 1999

NORTH MANKATO, 0.5 percent, authorized 2008

OWATONNA, 0.5 percent, authorized 2006

PROCTOR, 0.5 percent, authorized 1999

ROCHESTER, 0.5 percent, authorized 1983

ST. PAUL, 0.5 percent, authorized 1993

TWO HARBORS, 0.5 percent, authorized 1998

WILLMAR, 0.5 percent, authorized 2005

WORTHINGTON, 0.5 percent, authorized 2006

Source: Minnesota Department of Revenue.

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