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Finley to vote on doubling city sales tax

Voters in Finley, N.D., will decide Tuesday on a measure to raise the local 1 percent sales tax by another 1 percent, to pay for repairs to public facilities.

Voters in Finley, N.D., will decide Tuesday on a measure to raise the local 1 percent sales tax by another 1 percent, to pay for repairs to public facilities.

The two projects are new underground wiring for street lights and maintenance of the water tower in the industrial park.

Finley's current 1 percent sales tax generates $60,000 to $65,000 annually, but the city gets just 40 percent of that total. Finley Economic Development Corp. receives 50 percent, while the local park board gets the remaining 10 percent, City Auditor Marci Johnson said.

The sales tax measure also raises the maximum tax imposed per purchase from $25 to $50.

The street light wiring is wearing out, Mayor Larry Amundson said. The street

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lights were installed in the 1930s, but the wires were buried in the

dirt, unprotected by conduit or other materials.

He said it's been a struggle to keep the lights working the past couple of years.

The project cost is estimated at about $150,000.

He said the new sales tax will have a sunset clause, so it would be retired once the two projects are completed.

"We've got to do something," the mayor said. "In small towns, it's tough. You just don't have the volume of business to generate a lot of funds for projects. But we don't want to live in the dark, either."

Polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. A simple majority is necessary for the sales tax measure to be approved.

Reach Bonham at (701) 780-1110; (800) 477-6572, ext. 110; or send email to kbonham@gfherald.com .

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