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Time To Start The Sales Tax Hike Conversation

Thu, 15 Aug 2013 14:32:01 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

Community groups promoting a sales tax for the YMCA and the Prairie City Soccer League have scheduled the public rollout of their $32 million proposal. Dave Magers says there will be a news conference next Tuesday detailing coalition plans. Some public officials have expressed reservations about passing a public tax benefitting private organizations. But, Magers says the soccer league and the Y help community development.

"There was a recent soccer tournament in the community that brought in more than 700 teams from outside the community and of course when that happens you bring in parents and grandparents and they stay in the hotels and they shop and they go out to eat while they are here."

"The estimate is that about 40% of the sales tax that is paid is from others outside of the community. So that seemed like the probably the most effective funding source that actually got some of the funding from those who were using the facility from outside the community."

Magers says the quarter point sales tax over eight years would pay for soccer fields to replace ones near the Airport that the federal government mandates be closed and for a new community center in south Bloomington. There would also be a half million dollars included for the Boys and Girls Club, Western Avenue Community Center, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He says it is important for city councils to have a concrete proposal in which to start the public conversation about how to proceed. Magers says he hopes to make council presentations in September.

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