Mayor Norton Vetoes Sales Tax Extension Referendum Resolution
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Rochester Mayor Kim Norton today followed through with her threat to veto a resolution approved by the Rochester City Council last night concerning the push to extend the city's half-cent sales tax.
The City Council, on a 6-1 vote, approved a plan to hold a special election in November on a proposed sales tax extension to provide more than $200 million in revenue for four major initiatives: an economic vitality fund, street reconstruction, flood control and water quality, and a $65 million Sports and Recreation Complex. The proposal indicates the sales tax extension would run for approximately 24 years.
After issuing her veto this afternoon, Mayor Norton stated that her action, in large part, was because she believes "that Rochester residents should be entitled to vote for each of the four proposed projects based on their individual merit and self-determined need in our community." The mayor went on to say she is concerned, more broadly, about "the lack of a public process to determine the four items on which the public should vote, and the continued uncertainty of the location" of the proposed Sports and Recreation Complex.
Her statement also indicated the "potential negative impact on the three other essential ballot measures due to this uncertainty is of concern." Norton requested the City Council uphold her veto and approve a new resolution that creates four individual ballot questions for the November special election that would allow voters to approve or reject each of the four initiatives.