What part of "yes" does the Legislature not understand?
Baxter voters, all adults and fully competent as far as we know, said yes to a local option sales tax of .5 percent for infrastructure improvements last fall. They went to the polls and approved the measure 2,177-1,559.
City leaders stuck their neck out and advocated the tax hike because they thought it was best for the fast-growing city. That takes foresight and courage on the part of elected officials and they should be commended for their efforts. The Baxter leaders reasoned a sales tax that equated to only 10 cents on a $20 purchase would still yield more than a million dollars. The sales tax even had a sunset provision so that it would end when the bonds for specific projects were paid off.
A great irony in this situation is that many of Baxter's needed infrastructure improvements (water, wastewater, a satellite fire station) are necessary to accommodate the hordes of travelers from the Twin Cities who make Baxter's numbers swell in the peak summer months. The fact that Baxter is such a retail destination for shoppers from all parts of Minnesota makes the issue a regional or state concern.
Baxter Administrator Dennis Coryell was right when he termed the Legislature's exclusion of Baxter's sales tax request while others cities were granted permission as micromanagement.
We would add descriptions such as paternalistic, condescending and short-sighted, to boot.
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