The Rice County Board of Commissioners will be holding a special meeting to try to decide whether to request a local option sales tax to pay for the new Public Safety Center.

The County needs to submit a request to the state legislature which must give approval before the county would ask residents of Rice County to vote on the proposal.

 

At today’s meeting the board vote ended in a 2-2 tie for a 3/8ths of a percent sales tax with Commissioner Jeff Docken not in attendance.

 

Board Chair Jim Purfeerst says the sales tax is the way to go…

Commissioner Galen Malecha brought up the elderly struggling to make ends meet.

During a committee meeting of the board last week they were presented with two spreadsheets outlining what would be raised with a ¼ percent and a ½ percent local option sales tax.

At today’s meeting county Chief Financial Officer Paul O’Connell advised a 3/8 percent tax would raise the target amount to pay for the Public Safety Center construction.  Approximately 48 million dollars over 30 years.

The ¼ percent comes up about 15 million dollars short and the ½ percent raises more than enough.  O’Connell pointed out the tax would go off as soon as the 48 million dollars was raised. So if they decided to be more aggressive in paying off the facility they could save some interest dollars.

Commissioner Steve Underdahl indicated there might be other taxing authorities in the county who want to use a local option sales tax…

Malecha stated the county needs to look out for the county…

Commissioner Dave Miller wondered if the county received state approval to hold a vote this fall on the tax if it would pass…

Purfeerst commented…

The special meeting to discuss the matter will be 8:30 Monday morning.

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