Letter: Hamilton discusses option sales tax increase proposalA House Democrat proposal that would encourage counties to impose a half-cent sales tax is questionable.
By: Dist. 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, Worthington Daily Globe
A House Democrat proposal that would encourage counties to impose a half-cent sales tax is questionable. The goal of the legislation is to give counties new revenues so they won’t be forced into to imposing property higher taxes on residents. But there’s nothing in this bill that specifically states if the county assesses the sales tax, that it cannot raise property taxes as well. Instead of looking to cut spending to solve our mammoth deficit, the majority is looking to pass the blame to counties.
A county’s share of local government aid from the state would also be eliminated if the sales tax increase took effect, and that any local sales tax that had been approved by one of its cities would also disappear.
Counties would not receive all of the funds even if they decided to force the sales tax on their residents. The bill proposes a $230 million sales tax increase, assuming all counties participate. Of this amount, the state will get $115 million and counties would receive $105 million.
For border communities like ours, this bill doesn’t make a lot of sense. Why would someone buy a car in Worthington if they could save a few hundred dollars by making the same purchase in Sibley, Iowa or Sioux Falls, South Dakota?
At a time when we need people to buy goods the most, the House majority brings up a hidden tax increase proposal that will inevitably convince people to do their shopping out of state. Instead of making needed spending reforms, the majority has found another way to give rural Minnesota the shaft.