The city of Maple Grove is considering a new local sales tax to help raise money to pay for the renovation and expansion of the Maple Grove Community Center. At its Nov. 15 meeting, the council unanimously approved a special law authorizing the city to proceed with a local sales tax, following approval of a local referendum.

During the Minnesota Legislature’s July special session, the city received authorization to proceed with a local sale tax for the purposes of expanding and renovating the community center. In order for the city to proceed with implementing the sale tax increase, it must first submit a certificate of approval to the Secretary of State’s office for the special law. Then the question for the local sale tax option would be on the November 2022 ballot for residents to vote on.

A half-percent increase would be added to the state’s base sales tax rate of 6.875% for 20 years if the voters approve the referendum question next fall. That money raised could only be used for the community center project.

“This is action we are taking tonight approve [the sales tax option], so that we can hold the election in the fall regarding the local option sales tax and then impose that sales tax if it’s approved by the voters in the fall,” Mayor Mark Steffenson said. “Very simply, this resolution provides that the city may use up to $90 million from this one-half of one [percent] for the expansion and renovation of the Maple Grove Community Center.”

The community center was built in the 1990s and is in need of improvements and more room, according to the city.

“It makes sense for us to have this local sales tax option, as it would then allow us to collect taxes from people who use the facility but do not live in Maple Grove,” Steffenson said. “I think that we have figured that approximately 55% of the revenue from this local option sales tax would come from non-residents of Maple Grove. It would be appropriate because of the significant non-resident usage of our community center as well.”

He added this sales tax would provide a “vast majority of funding” for the community center project.

Councilor Kristy Barnett added, “Education will be [released] over the next year about what the amenities of the community center would have for the voters, so they know more about this project.”

Copyright © 2021 at Sun Newspapers/ APG Media of East Central Minnesota. Digital dissemination of this content without prior written consent is a violation of federal law and may be subject to legal action.

Load comments