Moose Lake city residents voted 502 yes to 242 no to a question on the November 6 ballot about the city adding a one-half percent city sales tax to purchases made within the city limits.
The funds, estimated earlier by the Carlton County Economic Development Department to generate $150,000 a year, will be used for improvements to the city’s parks, streets and related infrastructure and the municipal library.
“As the city administration, we were happy that it passed,” said Mayor Ted Shaw in a recent telephone interview. “This will allow us to make the improvements to the parks, the street system and help the library.”
However, passage of the advisory vote was just the first step. The proposal for the Local Option Sales Tax, along with the information about passage of the advisory vote, has to be sent to the state Legislature for passage in the next session.
The city of Moose Lake had submitted a request a year or two ago about implementing a Local Option Sales Tax of one-half of a percent, along with other cities in the state, but the Legislature changed its requirements and asked that each city hold an advisory vote of city residents.
The city of Cloquet was another city that held an advisory vote, and the question was passed by a vote of two-thirds in favor versus one-third against, similar to the vote in Moose Lake.
Mayor Shaw explained, if the Legislature approves the proposal, the sales tax will not begin to be charged in Moose Lake until 2014.