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Letter: Many questions to ask on sales tax proposal

In reviewing the information distributed by the committee on the vote for a sales tax increase for Worthington regarding the Community Center Complex and renovation of Memorial Auditorium, there are a lot of unanswered questions that have not bee...

In reviewing the information distributed by the committee on the vote for a sales tax increase for Worthington regarding the Community Center Complex and renovation of Memorial Auditorium, there are a lot of unanswered questions that have not been addressed. A few of them are as follows:

How much sales tax is expected to be collected yearly?

Who is going to be paying for the operating losses for these projects that will be ongoing?

If this is such a good project, why aren't the county and State of Minnesota involved?

Is the city going to use the funds from the sale of the hospital to help finance these proposed projects?

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Is the city going to account for the Community Center as an enterprise fund of the city or a revenue fund?

Why hasn't the committee reported an estimated amount of the sales tax that would be collected? I believe they probably have an estimate but have elected not put this amount in recent newspaper articles because it is not even close to paying for the cost of these projects and the resulting operating losses. At the forum for the City Council and mayor election two years ago, I asked this question to the candidates -- who will pay for the operating losses and debt on the community center project if it is built? Only one candidate answered the question and said the city would probably issue bonds and levy for operating losses. The other candidates did not answer this question.

With the sale of the Hospital -- which was mishandled in my opinion -- I would like the City Council to state in writing and in enforceable language that none of these hospital funds will be used for these proposed projects. Be sure to ask the City Council candidates at Tuesday's Candidate Forum what their views on the proposed projects are and the use of the hospital funds.

The next question that needs to be answered is how the city is going to account for the fund that will operate the community center if it is built.

Remember, the City Council decided to move the Prairie View Golf Course Fund from an enterprise fund to a Special Revenue (Parks & Recreation Fund). By doing this, the true losses of the golf course are buried in the Park and Recreation Fund and difficult to extract. Hundred of thousands of levy dollars have been levied over the years to cover the losses. Are they going to handle this project the same way -- without full accountability? Before the November election, contact the members of the City Council directly about these issues and other issues you have and ask them to put in writing the specific answers to these questions. Vote accordingly in November based on their answers to the questions and your opinion on the issues.

As stated above, if the project is worthwhile, why isn't the county or state involved? This question has not been answered yet.

In closing, when was the last time politicians stopped collecting taxes when there was a sunset law? Do you think the City Council is going to stop collecting this tax after ten years when there still is operating losses on these projects?

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