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Letter: Try again on sales tax, Grand Forks voter says

In my view, Grand Forks should shoulder the blame for the failure of the sales tax increase. While I voted to increase the tax, I felt I wasn't as informed as I could have been as to exactly what would happen if the proposal failed. It's common s...

In my view, Grand Forks should shoulder the blame for the failure of the sales tax increase.

While I voted to increase the tax, I felt I wasn't as informed as I could have been as to exactly what would happen if the proposal failed.

It's common sense that if we need a new water treatment plant, the cost of supplying water is going to go up. The two options to cover that increase were for residents to pay for it through their utility bills, or to share it with every consumer who passes through Grand Forks.

If the city had put forth more of a marketing effort, I think it could have convinced residents to share the burden with all of the nonresidents who shop in our stores and eat in our restaurants.

Walk through the parking lot of Menards on a Saturday, and count the number of Manitoba and Minnesota license plates. If each of those visitors shelled out an extra 75 cents on every $100 they spent, imagine the revenue that could generate for the city.

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Thanksgiving weekend alone probably would pay for my stretch of Cottonwood Street to be resurfaced.

I think the sales tax failed because voters in general don't want to raise their own taxes. But if our city leaders had done a better job of promoting the benefits of the small increase, voters would have understood that the sales tax hike would cost them a lot less than the water-rate increase, which we're going to be hit with in the near future.

I say try again at the next opportunity, and consider this a lesson learned for the community.

Anthony Vigness

Grand Forks

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