Some thoughts on local sales tax option

From Neil Haynes, Glenwood

I would like to respond to the discussion about a local one half of a percent sales tax increase that we will be voting on in the November election. As a window cleaning contractor, I have been collecting sales tax in nine counties where I have done business since 1987. In recent years, local cities and counties have been allowed to add a small amount to their sales taxes for specific projects. The greater St. Cloud area, for example, has had this tax for years. They also have an additional restaurant and lodging tax. In the last five years, Douglas, Todd, Kandiyohi, Ottertail and Morrison have added city, county or both in additional taxes. I’m aware of this because I collect the tax in those places.

Also, in a recent article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, it was noted that 40 percent of sales tax receipts in Minnesota are from out-of-state tourists. The metro area has had additional sales tax for years. Many items, such as groceries, clothing, prescription drugs and used farm equipment are exempt. For a complete list, go to the Minnesota Department of Revenue website at www.revenue.state.mn.us/business/sut/pages/tax-information.aspx.

I would like to make an observation. I doubt that any of us changed our buying habits in response to the one half of a percent increase that was added in Alexandria recently. The funds from this small increase in city sales tax could be an additional source of income other than property tax.

Neil Haynes is a Glenwood city 

commissioner.