By Mayor Tim Busse
Each year, the City of Bloomington requests changes to state statutes to benefit the residents of Bloomington. As a regional leader, support from the state legislature helps the City continue to serve residents, businesses and visitors.
The City Council adopts key legislative initiatives in January. The top priority this year is legislation allowing Bloomington to put a local option sales tax to a resident vote. The proposed Bloomington sales tax would be a 0.5% added tax charged on retail sales in the city. The revenue collected by the sales tax would be used to fund improvements to aging City facilities. This local sales tax would generate approximately $11 million each year over 20 years.
It is estimated that 75% of a Bloomington sales tax would be paid for by visitors and 25% would be paid for by residents, according to an independent analysis by the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality. Projects that a sales tax could fund include:
- A new Community Health and Wellness Center (replacing the Public Health Center and Creekside Community Center): $100 million.
- Renovation of the Bloomington Ice Garden: $35 million.
- Renewal of the Nine Mile Creek Corridor: $20 million.
The City also supports I-494 reconstruction to increase mobility and improve safety. The project includes reconstruction of a 9.5-mile stretch along I-494 from Highway 169 to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. This stretch provides cross-metro access, local access for businesses and residents, and direct access to major destinations such as the airport and Mall of America.
Lastly, we are requesting continued support for investment in public safety technology. These are costly items, but necessary to support our police and help make the Bloomington community safer. Learn more in my Council Minute video on the topic at blm.mn/cm-1-11.