Board opposes transit sales tax

At its Feb. 19 regular session, the Carver County Board adopted a resolution opposing the imposition of a transit sales tax. The tax, proposed by Governor Mark Dayton, would increase sales tax by one-quarter percent in the seven county metro area to help fund the growing metro transit services.
The resolution was written to solidify the county’s position on the tax, as various sources have suggested that without outright opposition of the tax, a county may support the notion.
The Board opposes the tax because it feels Carver County does not currently have the ridership to justify the tax and that the tax would not provide the necessary funding for the county’s transit and transportation plans.
“I am very concerned that the residents of Carver County will bear an unfair expense with little or no direct benefit,” Board Chair Tim Lynch said in a press release from the county. “In addition, being on the fringe of the metro area, our local businesses would be at a competitive disadvantage for big ticket items such as electronics and furniture with a lower tax rate a short drive across the county line.”
This opposition marks the second time in recent years that Carver County has denied a tax on residents. State statutes in 2008 allowed the metropolitan counties to begin a one-quarter percent sales and use tax that would also be used for transit. Carver County denied this tax as well.
Also at the Feb. 19 session, the Metropolitan Mosquito Control Board discussed its plans for 2013. The MMCD, which serves the seven metro counties and over 2,900 square miles, helps to control the mosquito population for 50 percent of the state’s people. In 2013, the MMCD plans to expand testing, continue to incorporate new technologies, and refine disease risk reduction services. These efforts are in an attempt to reduce the number of cases of diseases such as West Nile Virus, Lyme Disease, HDA, and La Crosse encephalitis.
The next meeting of the Carver County Board will be March 12 at 9 a.m.

Contact Melissa Marohl at melissa.marohl@ecm-inc.com

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