To the editor, 

The city of Cambridge puts a .5 percent sales tax increase on the ballot and it passes. No public hearing – nothing. Going to pay for a new library, new parks, roads. But really, this is a property tax issue as it applies to the library and parks, and excise/fuel tax as it applies to roads. NOT sales tax.

A sales tax increase is NOT the answer. This would incentivize people within our city/county to shop outside their own community. By nature, people RESIST TAXES and will generally go the long way around to avoid paying them.

Online shopping is already rampant making it harder for brick and mortar stores to exist. This will only make it more difficult to do business.

Minnesota is currently ranked #1 highest in personal income tax and sixth highest in sales tax nationally. Currently we are 6.875 percent, the increase would bring us to 7.375 percent with Wisconsin being 5.5 percent only 35 miles away.

Our business will be greatly affected by this increase. On a $10,000 or $20,000 purchase that puts us at a huge disadvantage. We are 63 years old this year doing business in Cambridge, have employed hundreds, countless property tax/payroll tax/sales tax. 

We draw people into our community from a large area: Rochester, Mankato, Duluth, Brainerd, and of course the Twin Cities. This will hurt the effectiveness of maintaining a competitive price model with other dealers in the same business. Not having a city tax comes up frequently during the quote process and is an important part of the buying decision.

Why not use the no city tax as an incentive for people to shop here? We do and it is effective.

Selling the tax increase as a library/roads/parks fix is a ruse. Hard to measure – too open-ended, roads and parks – vague and again open-ended. Property tax is a measured and fixed in cost, verifiable. This is where the library belongs. If the library was put to a vote being tied it to property tax, would it pass? Tying it to sales tax is an easy pill to swallow for many – make others pay for it – (public sentiment would be – I don’t/won’t shop here; I buy online; everyone else can pay for this, etc.).

Please contact your state senator, state representative or council person. A public hearing is needed. Thank you for the opportunity.

Michael Larson

Larsons Cycle, Inc.

Cambridge

 

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