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Letter: Why The Chamber supports Grand Forks' sales-tax increase

While no Chamber likes the idea of increasing taxes, The Grand Forks/East Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce board voted to support the city of Grand Forks' 3/4 -cent sales tax increase. The Chamber is committed to business growth, job creation and ...

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While no Chamber likes the idea of increasing taxes, The Grand Forks/East Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce board voted to support the city of Grand Forks' ¾-cent sales tax increase. The Chamber is committed to business growth, job creation and new capital investment in our community. This sales tax will help fund the vital infrastructure that will keep our community growing and moving forward.

The Grand Forks City Council has given careful consideration to this proposal and how this increase will position Grand Forks compared to other regional trade centers. This proposal keeps our sales tax and water rates competitive with our neighbors.

The city was careful to spell out what this tax can and cannot fund, which is also the prudent thing to do. Every business and citizen will benefit from these water and road projects.

Local funding is more important than ever, with ever- decreasing federal funding for infrastructure projects. This local tax will also help match and leverage the scarce funds that are available at state and federal levels.

It comes down to economic growth and opportunity for our community. The Chamber, which has been advocating for Grand Forks for more than 100 years, supports this tax and will stay engaged with the city to ensure that the city spends any new tax revenue in the manner proposed and that best serves the interests of business and the community as a whole.

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A vote Yes on the city sales tax initiative is a vote Yes for progress in Grand Forks.

John Oncken

Grand Forks

Oncken is board chair of The Chamber of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. He is owner and vice president of True North Equipment.

Related Topics: ELECTION 2016
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