SARTELL -- Sartell is considering creating a food and beverage tax. State Representative Tim O'Driscoll of Sartell has introduced a bill in the House that would allow the city to impose a tax of up to 1.5 percent.

Community Development Director Anita Archambau says, if it gets signed by the governor, it will allow the city council to begin the conversation.

It really does allow that conversation and that public input to occur within the city of Sartell this spring and this summer.

Archambau says the city council would likely get feedback from business owners and the community before voting on whether to implement the tax.

She says the additional revenue would be used for the recreational facilities in Sartell, including maintaining their current facilities and also adding additional amenities.

Mayor Ryan Fitzthum says the recreational facilities, including the ice arena, ball fields, and community center drives a considerable amount of visitors to the city each year.

While those visitors are here, they tend to spend money at our local food and beverage establishments. Utilizing this as a means to capture revenue, we are able to add and improve our recreational facilities which in turn will drive more visitors to our community, which will then spend more of their money here. We see this as a more sensible financial tool than to utilize city property taxes as a means of funding. 

St. Cloud is the only city in our metro area that currently collects a food and beverage tax, which has been one-percent since it was implemented in 1987.