WALKER -- The Cass County Board Tuesday referred to Region 5 the issue of whether a tax on gravel production should be initiated.
If implemented, Cass commissioners agreed it should be done regionally rather than a county at a time here, though individual counties in other parts of Minnesota have begun charging that tax.
Administrator Robert Yochum told the board Tuesday he and County Engineer David Enblom estimate at least 1,000,000 tons of gravel are produced in Cass each year. If a 7-cent per ton tax were charged, it would generate $70,000 per year.
The county would receive half that amount, with the other half going to townships where the gravel was mined, Yochum said.
On the down side of levying a gravel production tax, the county likely would see an increase in bid prices for road construction as contractors pass the tax to gravel users, Yochum said.
If gravel ultimately going to local government construction projects were exempted, Yochum said it would greatly reduce the amount of tax collected, because the county in particular is a major gravel user.
Bob Hutton of Region 5 told the board the region will research the issue. The first step will be to compile an accurate inventory of existing and proposed gravel pits, he said.
Hutton also discussed with the board Region 5's recently completed Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy 2003 annual report.
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