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Legacy amendment's price tag goes up

ST. PAUL - The Revenue Department says the average Minnesotan would pay more for a proposed sales tax increase than proponents claim.

Paul Wilson, Revenue Department Tax Research Division director, estimates that the average added cost for Minnesotans ranging from single people to families would be $60 a year, about $8 more than the Vote Yes campaign says. And an average family of four would pay $85 more on their purchases, he said.

Wilson said his figures only show what Minnesotans would pay directly, but it is impossible to figure how much more people would pay due to businesses passing on higher sales taxes they would are charged.

The proposal on Tuesday's ballot would increase the sales tax 0.375 percent for 25 years by amending the state constitution. Proceeds from the increased tax would go to outdoors and arts programs.

About $270 million would come in the first year, probably increasing each year as prices and spending rise.

In the meantime, notable sportsman including Bud Grant, are traveling the state supporting the amendment. Opponents are touting newspaper editorials that oppose the amendment.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.