Two more area cities would be eligible for Rochester sales tax dollars as part of a bill introduced this week.
House Taxes Committee Chairman Greg Davids is sponsoring a bill aimed at adding the cities of Wanamingo and Grand Meadow to the list of 17 area cities eligible to apply for economic development grants that would be funded by an extension of Rochester's local option sales tax. Last year, Davids came up with the idea of requiring the city to dole out $5 million in economic development grants to area cities as part of the sales tax extension. The Preston Republican said he realize that the cities of Wanamingo and Grand Meadow had inadvertently been left off the list.
Other cities that would be eligible for the economic development funds are: Byron, Chatfield, Dodge Center, Dover, Elgin, Eyota, Kasson, Mantorville, Oronoco, Pine Island, Plainview, St. Charles, Stewartville, Zumbrota, Spring Valley, West Concord and Hayfield.
Rochester Assistant City Adminstrator Gary Neumann said the city does not have a position on the bill. He said officials are still discussing how they would divvy up those economic development dollars if the sales tax renewal passes. This is the first time a city has been asked to share its sales tax revenue with area cities.
The $139.5 million local option sales tax proposal will be put before Rochester voters in November.