Q & A: Mayo Civic Center and taxes

This was a somewhat insulting note complete with threat, here it is unedited:

every politician loves to say , their doing it in other cities our size and it’s working? Wellthere is a whole lot that us regular folk can point out that they are or are not doing also??? Do all 14 of these cities have a 1/2 percent sales tax? Well this city won’t either come next year, enjoy YOUR civic center.

Here was my response.  As I have said we are not the state or federal government, we actually have to pass real budgets and make real choices.  Often we suffer consequences from legislative failures, like LGA and other cuts.  As such we have to be pragmatic and actually make tough decisions.


Many of these municipalities have a local option sales taxes greater than 0.5%.  I believe that some are at least as high as 1.5%.  Any way you cut it Rochester’s total is in line with similar communities.  This is even more impressive because in most states the total sales tax is lower but covers more items.  Our narrower sales tax is higher for the things that it covers like hotel stays.  If you doubt the accuracy of anything that I have said, I encourage you to check it out.


I believe that most of our citizens will be more level headed in their approach to funding their community.  Just take a look at the projects that are on the list, there are some that might not be done like the Senior Center / Recreation Center or STEM academy, but many like the transportation projects, sewer projects, and downtown improvements will be done regardless.  As such we will be deciding if we want to pay 100% of this through our property taxes or much less through our sales tax.  Most of us care about having a great community with great amenities.  That is why MN voted so overwhelmingly to support our legacy amendment.  I believe that is why this will succeed.

I found your note to be condescending and am particularly surprised that you would use your business account for this type of activity.  I will stick to the facts and do my best to minimize tax burden on those I represent.



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