Published March 1, 2001 | March 2001 issue
St. Cloud residents approved a referendum last November that would tack on a half-cent sales tax to purchases made in the city to help pay for improvements to the city library and St. Cloud Regional Airport.
To make the tax more acceptable to the state Legislature, which has final approval, St. Cloud's mayor has suggested that surrounding communities join the sales tax program. In return, those towns would share in revenue above the dollars needed for the St. Cloud projects.
The proposed legislation would allow up to $40 million to be collected for up to 10 years. If approved, St. Cloud and its neighbors would begin collecting the tax in 2002. Extra revenue would eventually be parceled out to other participants to fund their own projects, based half on population and half on the sales tax collected in their communities.
The project seems to appeal to smaller cities that would unlikely get approval for such a tax on their own, nor would they directly collect as much in sales taxes. Nearby Waite Park and Augusta are considering the plan.