Update: More than 60% of St. Paul residents voting on November 7, 2023, cast a “yes” ballot for the 1-cent sales tax initiative. That means it passed!
Tuesday, November 7, is voting day, and Friends of the Parks and Trails is asking our members to get informed and get out to vote! We urge you to vote “yes” for the City of Saint Paul’s proposed 1-cent sales tax, an initiative that will help repair miles of crumbling roads and maintain the city’s nationally ranked park system.
According to the Star Tribune’s recent summation of the initiative, the 1% city sales tax — in a state that already exempts food and clothing from sales taxes — would do the following:
- Raise nearly $1 billion for street and park improvements over the next 20 years: $738 million toward streets and bridges, and $246 million toward parks.
- Park improvements would include maintenance of recreation centers, athletic courts and trails, and revenue would support new projects such as a Mississippi River learning center at Crosby Farm Regional Park.
- Make up for a trifecta of road problems, including inflationary cost bumps and a failure to raise property tax levies for 12 years prior to 2006.
- Boost the city’s sales tax to 9.875%, the highest in the state (while allowing non-city residents who shop in the city to pay their fair share, too).
Along with numerous other environmental organizations, including Como Friends and the Saint Paul Parks Conservancy, Friends of the Parks and Trails has been advocating in favor of the 1-cent sales tax since the city announced the initiative last winter.
Also on the ballot
Every seat on the seven-member St. Paul City Council is up for election or — in the case of councilmembers Mitra Jalali (Ward 4), Rebecca Noecker (Ward 2) and Nelsie Yang (Ward 6) — re-election. And four seats on the seven-member Saint Paul Public Schools Board of Education are also up for election or re-election, with seven candidates vying for four seats.
As a 501©(3), Friends of the Parks and Trails does not endorse candidates. But candidate websites of those running are readily available, and the following links may help as you do your homework.
- Sahan Journal guide to City Council races.
- Saint Paul DFL endorsements for City Council and School Board (displayed as “Sample Ballots” in the pull-down menu, which indicates which candidates the DFL endorsed).
- Star Tribune endorsements for City Council in St. Paul.
- Saint Paul Federation of Educators (Local 28) endorsements for both City Council and School Board.
Photo on homepage courtesy of Wikimedia Commons