County preparing for hearing on local sales tax

The March 7 meeting of the Wright County Board ended very shortly after it began, as there were only a pair of housecleaning items. But, it may be the quiet before the storm in the coming weeks.
On the March 14 agenda, there will be discussion to set a public hearing to impose a half-cent sales tax to cover road and bridge projects. The county has looked to avoid adding on a tax, but, with the State of Minnesota holding the line on state aid funding for road and bridge projects, it has allowed counties to impose their own sales taxes, most of which have added a half-cent tax. The state sales tax is 6.875 percent. The proposed county tax would raise Wright County sales tax collected to 7.375 percent.
Commissioner Darek Vetsch said that he is looking forward to the opportunity for the discussion to get public input because he expects that, once explained, more residents would favor a sales tax as opposed to the alternative – raising the needed road and bridge money through property tax levy increases.
“I just want to get transparency on this with the public because we need public input,” Vetsch said. “I want to get the pros and cons out there so people know why we’re looking at it. The state isn’t giving us any additional money for road projects and has said this is your way to generate your own funds and allocate the money for road projects. We’ve been left to do a sales tax, make additions to the levy or not doing projects.”

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