Rochester City Council approves to move forward with special election to renew local sales tax

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(ABC 6 News) – The Rochester City Council on Monday affirmed the approval for a referendum question for the fall’s election that seeks to extend the City’s half-percent sales tax.

The City is looking to invest $205 million for street projects, flood control, water quality work, an economic vitality fund, and a new regional sports and recreation complex.

Local sales tax has been utilized in Rochester since it was first approved by voters in 1983.

Over the coming weeks the City of Rochester will provide residents with more information about the investment plan and the referendum to support it. This effort includes the creation of a dedicated website which will serve as a centralized resource for residents to learn about the referendum process, the proposed investment plan, costs and benefits, voting information and frequently asked questions.

The City says an independent study conducted by the University of Minnesota estimates that nonresidents contribute approximately 43% of the funds collected by Rochester’s sales tax. This means that nonresidents would contribute an estimated $88 million toward the proposed projects if the referendum is approved.  

Like previous sales tax renewal referendums, this will provide voters an opportunity to consider the entire package of sales tax projects, which was authorized by the Minnesota Legislature for local consideration.