ST. CLOUD - St. Cloud officials are interested in raising a pair of local taxes. During their meeting Monday the city council will consider making a request to the State Legislature to increase the food and beverage tax by up to one-half percent, and increase the lodging tax by up to one percent.

City Administrator Matt Staehling says the taxes are used to support a variety of city owned facilities.

A little over 50% goes to the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the remaining is split between various city facilities including the River's Edge, the MAC, the Paramount etc.  We're looking to get some more money to reinvest in the MAC, to make it a first class facility.

Right now St. Cloud has a one-percent tax on liquor and food sold at bars and restaurants. It was first authorized by the state legislature in 1986, and it has not been raised since then. The lodging tax is five percent, which applies to hotel stays of 30 days or less, was first authorized in 1979 at three percent. It was increased to five percent in 1986.

Staehling says the food and beverage tax collected over $1.4 million last year, and a one-half percent increase could collect another $725,000. He says the lodging tax increase of one-percent could bring in another potential $333,000.

If the city council approves moving forward with the request to increase the taxes, the next step would be for the State Legislature to approve the request, then it would come back to the St. Cloud city council to officially set the new tax rates.

Mayor Dave Kleis says public hearings would have to be held before they could take the final step to raise either tax.

The taxes are used to fund the St. Cloud Convention and Visitors Bureau, and support the River's Edge Convention Center, the MAC, Clemens/Munsinger Gardens, and Granite City Days.

Taxes for Minnesota's Regional Cities:
Lodging Tax:
Bloomington 7%
Duluth 5.5%
St. Cloud 5%
Rochester 4%

Food & Beverage Tax:
St. Cloud 1%

Sales Tax:
Duluth 1%
Rochester .75%
St. Cloud Region .5%
Bloomington 0%