As others see it: Legacy funding raises questionsMinnesotans haven’t had much experience with voter-approved sales taxes, and the recent awards on the “Legacy” funding sales tax allocations may leave taxpayers a little more wary of approving these kinds of taxes in the future.
By: The Free Press of Mankato, Worthington Daily Globe
Minnesotans haven’t had much experience with voter-approved sales taxes, and the recent awards on the “Legacy” funding sales tax allocations may leave taxpayers a little more wary of approving these kinds of taxes in the future.
Granted, voters mostly knew what they were in for. The Legacy Amendment language was clear in that it outlined certain things it would be used to pay for: lake and river cleanup, fish and wildlife habitat, parks and trails, and arts, history and cultural heritage.
And, the way the money was distributed was probably known fairly well ahead of time. There would be a committee to make the decisions and groups wanting money would be vetted through an application process.
Still, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for some taxpayers to question the value of some of their money going to supply a symphony with a $4,300 English horn, or even provide a quarter of a million dollars to local public, educational radio.
These questions will be raised even more in the kind of economic times we now face. People are unemployed, having their hours cut, salaries reduced. Overall state revenues are down, a $1.2 billion short-term deficit is looming . ...
Those administering Legacy Amendment funds ought to consider the context of the economic times. If we don’t feel the decision process for awarding Legacy money conforms to some of these important political and contextual issues, the Legislature may have to step in and tweak the process.
The Free Press of Mankato