The Cambridge City Council took the final step in the process to begin collection of the 0.5% local option sales tax during its meeting Aug. 19.
During the council meeting, City Administrator Lynda Woulfe explained the final step the city needs to take for the implementation of the collection of the local option sales tax is to enter into a collection agreement with the Department of Revenue.
The Department of Revenue collects the tax on the city’s behalf and then remits the proceeds to the city on a monthly basis. Woulfe explained they do collect an administration fee, which is outlined within the agreement.
Following discussion, the council approved a motion to authorize the mayor and city administrator to execute the sales tax collection agreement with the Department of Revenue.
The local option sales tax was approved by the voters of the city of Cambridge during the November election to help fund the construction of a new Cambridge Public Library and East Central Regional Library headquarters, the city’s street improvement program and outdoor park improvements.
Woulfe explained once the agreement is in place, the Department of Revenue can enforce collecting the local option sales tax on the city’s behalf. Woulfe said notices have been sent out to area retailers and she has asked the North 65 Chamber of Commerce to include the information in their weekly newsletter. The city also has information on the local option sales tax on their website’s home page.
The local option sales tax will expire on Dec. 31, 2043, or when the council determines the city has collected $22 million from the tax to fund the specific projects relating to the tax that include:
• $8 million plus associated bonding costs for construction of a new facility to house the Cambridge Public Library and the East Central Regional Library Headquarters.
• $2.7 million plus associated bonding costs for the 2020 street improvement project.
• $1.2 million plus associated bonding costs for the city’s share of Highway 95 street improvements from Davis Street to the Rum River.
• $1.2 million for street improvements for Fern Street to Highway 95 to Ninth Avenue Southwest, Ninth Avenue Southwest to South Fern Street to South Dellwood Street, Second Avenue Southwest to County Road 70 to South Fern Street, South Dellwood Street to 11th Avenue Southwest to 18th Avenue Southwest.
• $2.5 million for street improvements plus associated bonding costs for Second Avenue Southeast to Opportunity Boulevard to Alabama Street; Balsam Street to Highway 95 to Second Avenue Southeast; Third Avenue Northeast to Opportunity Boulevard to Balsam Street; Balsam Street North to Highway 95 to 400 feet north of Third Avenue Northeast and collector street overlays.
• $4 million for street improvements plus associated bonding costs for Alabama Street improvement project from Highway 95 to 16th Avenue Southeast (partnership project with Cambridge Township).
• $1.2 million plus associated bonding costs for the Cambridge-Isanti Bike Walk Trail connection to City Park.
• $750,000 plus associated bonding costs for Sandquist Family Regional Park improvements.