Letter: Pros and cons, sales tax, satire alert
To the editor,
Social media, shock jocks, and fake news are covering the proposed city sales tax increase with
the enthusiasm of the great Tamara Merseli spiking a perfectly set ball for another winner at the
Betty. While there are no cons to UND volleyball; there are two sides to the sales tax.
Pros: Farmers get rain for free, they should help pay for our water. UND, Altru, Park District
and many of the other ten largest users are tax exempt. It only makes sense we also subsidize
their water rates. Simplot, the largest held private corporation in the U.S. is struggling. Despite
additions and improvements; the taxable value of their property in Grand Forks stands at a
modest $26m, a drop of $6.3m since 2012. Their tax rate is 1.2 percent. And my home value has increased $52,500 during this time period and I pay 1.35 percent. I am wealthy now.
Our locally owned cooperative, Crystal Sugar, pays nearly double what Simplot pays for their
industrial water. I am sure those farmers will be happy to continue to subsidize Simplot and
Con: The only one I can think of is the sales tax is not high enough. My out of town visitors tell
me we are a destination city. They are honored to help us pay for our water.
Geez, I almost feeling vibrant.
Note: Marhula is co-founder of "Your vote counts," a nonpartisan group designed to enhance voter turnout.