Local sales tax collections are up in a number of Minnesota cities, according to an article in the Bemidji Pioneer.
Local tax revenue in Rochester, for example, is up more than 14 percent so far this year. Austin is up nearly 9.5 percent and Bemidji is up around 8.5 percent. In some cities, this is the first increase since the start of the recession.
These taxes fund a variety of local projects. In Bemidji for example, a half-cent local sales tax goes toward parks and trail improvements. At the end of next year, the money will shift to pay back bonds for a big project to redevelop the south shore of Lake Bemidji, including development of a hockey arena and events center that opens next month
City finance officials in Bemidji were pleasantly surprised by the size of the increase. It means people are buying more taxable goods.