City of Rochester share multilingual videos to educate about sales tax referendum

(ABC 6 News) – In Spanish, Somali and English, the City of Rochester produced multiple educational videos to inform residents about a referendum to renew the city’s sales tax.

These two-minute videos overview the four public investments the half-percent sales taxes would support: economic vitality fund, flood control, water quality, street repairs, and a regional sports and recreation complex.

  • Economic Vitality Fund
    • Investments to address middle and low-income housing shortages
    • Preserve existing affordable housing options
    • Create job opportunities for residents through workforce programs
  • Flood Control and Water Quality
    • Sediment removal to protect water quality initiative
    • Reinvestment and enhancement of floodwalls and riverbank stabilization measures
    • Expanding city’s systems
  • Street Repairs
    • Repair or rebuild aging roadways in need of repair
    • Transform safer and more efficient travel paths
  • Regional sports and Recreation Complex
    • A complex to meet growing residents’ demands for indoor and outdoor multi-purpose fields and courts
    • Strengthen sports tourism market
    • Attract regional and local sports events

“This is an important community decision, and the City is committed to helping all residents get the information they need to make an informed vote,” said City Administrator Alison Zelms. “As English, Spanish, and Somali are the three most common languages used in Rochester, we made a concentrated effort to deliver the videos in those languages.”

Research from the University of Minnesota assessed that purchased goods and services under the new tax would contribute about 43%, or about $88 million, of the investment plan.

According to the city, the approved sales tax would be renewed for up to 24 years and fund the Renew Rochester investment plan.

Early voting began on Sept. 23. Residents can vote early on the referendum in-person until Monday, Nov. 6; via absentee ballot through Tuesday, Nov. 7; or on Election Day (Tuesday Nov. 7) from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at their designated polling place.