Although there have been multiple public conversations regarding the half-cent sales tax, there’ve been comments that community members don’t support the proposed waterpark because they believe their taxes will rise or a levy will be imposed.
In the quest to bring a waterpark to St. Joseph, property taxes won’t be raised to support it, there won’t be a levy imposed and the dollars won’t come out of the city’s existing budget.
St. Joseph receives $1.42 for every dollar spent in the six-city region (St. Joseph, Sartell, Waite Park, St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, St. Augusta). The money you spend in any of these six cities gets split among them. St. Joseph has been getting revenue with this tax, and those monies aren’t automatically earmarked. The public is free to take well-researched ideas to the council, providing they fit the regional criteria and ask for assistance from that fund for a project.
The group is asking for a part of that revenue to be used to help to provide a summertime amenity that will bring the community together, foster great summer memories, provide a safe environment for kids of all ages, bring revenue into the city, bring job opportunities to the area and create an environment that all generations can enjoy. We’re also hoping to help raise funds for this endeavor to lessen the amount of money requested from the tax fund. It’s a community project and the community should be involved. We’ve reached out through social media, radio stations, papers and city council meetings. Based on these communications, they know there are supporters, and the feasibility study backs that up. We now need those supporters to voice their stance to the city council. Email them, call them, stop in and let them know you’re in favor. We appreciate the support.