Grand Forks Community to Vote on Sales Tax Increase

Tuesday, People in Grand Forks Will Vote For or Against an Increase in Sales Tax

GRAND FORKS, ND — People of Grand Forks will be voting for or against a slight increase in sales tax on Tuesday.

The city has purposed a half cent increase in sales tax to supply money for water and roads.

“It’ll generate $5 million dollars a year starting in 2018,” said Chamber President Barry Wilfhart. “Roughly 40 percent of that will go to reduce people’s water rates and the other 60 percent will go to fix potholes and do maintenance on the roads.”

The City Council asked the public for their input on where they think the money should go.

“They felt that they heard from the public that these are the two things that people are willing to pass a sales tax for,” Wilfhart said.

One local business owner says he’s a little nervous if the increase does pass, but figures it will ultimately work out in the end.

“On our small ticket items, they won’t notice much of a difference,” said David Badman, who is the owner of Badman Design. “With a bigger ticket item, it could be a dollar difference and they’re going to say something for a while, but they’ll get over it quickly.”

The chamber says they haven’t heard a lot of negative feedback on the potential increase.

“There really hasn’t been any organized opposition from a campaign perspective,” said Wilfhart.

As for downtown, they say business is booming.

“We’re having a great year and the Downtown is bustling,” Badman said. “There are restaurants coming in. There are a lot of small shops. There is a lot more foot traffic noticeably this year.”

The Chamber said if the sales tax does pass, it will still be a quarter cent lower than Fargo’s sales tax.

Polls to vote on the sales tax increase will be open Tuesday in the Alerus Center in Grand Forks from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Voters in Moorhead will pick a new school board member from a field of 13 candidates.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

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