SAUK RAPIDS - The Sauk Rapids city council has approved the hiring of a lobbyist at the Minnesota State Legislature.

The city is looking to join forces with the other area metro cities to hire a lobbying firm to help extend the half-cent sales tax, which is set to expire in 2018.

The total fee for their service is $12,500, which will be split among participating cities.

Last year the cities also used the lobbying firm.  The legislation  was part of a larger omnibus tax bill, which was passed by both the House and the Senate, but was vetoed by Governor Mark Dayton.

The Sauk Rapids city council approved the motion on a 4-1 vote, with Paul Weber voting against it.  He says he believes our local lawmakers will get the extension through without the help of a lobbying firm.

If the extension of the half-cent sales tax is approved by the state legislature, and signed by the Governor, it would be brought to the voters in all participating cities before it would be extended beyond 2018.