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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.

C.T. Marhula

Grand Forks

Note: Marhula is co-founder of "Your vote counts," a nonpartisan group designed to enhance voter turnout.