County mulls transportation tax increase

Body: 

Truck and car issues at a fair typically involve demolition derbies. Goodhue County commissioners, however, kicked-off the Cannon Valley Fair Friday, June 30, with a vote to set a public hearing for the potential increase in transportation taxes.

Due to a funding gap, the Legislature allows counties outside of the metropolitan area to impose a transportation sales and uses tax. If it implements the tax, the county would increase the current rate to one-half of 1 percent on applicable retail sales and uses. This would also include the wheelage tax of $20 per motor vehicle purchased through a motor vehicle sales business within the county. Currently, the excise tax is set at $10.

A half-percent sales tax could potentially generate approximately $1.7 million and the $20 motor vehicle sales excise tax could provide around $42,300 annually.

Commissioners voted to hold a hearing Sept. 4. The motion passed 4-1, with Commissioner Barney Nesseth voting against. The second regular scheduled meeting on Sept. 18 would allow the board to vote on adopting the tax increase.

If the tax is approved in September, the county would have to notify the State Department of Revenue at least 90 days before imposing the sales tax, with the tax being charged to consumers the beginning of the next quarter. The taxes could then be collected starting Jan. 1, 2018.