The Steele County, Minn. Board of Commissioners December 16 unanimously approved f a half-cent general sales tax to raise revenue for transportation investment.  The tax will last for ten years, and is expected to provide an additional $2.2 million in 2015 and $2.9 million in 2016 and beyond.

The revenue will support 48 projects covering 111 miles of roadway within the county.

The Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the transportation sales tax December 16 to fund 48 projects, covering over 111 miles within the county. The tax increase is expected to generate approximately $2.2 million in additional transportation funding revenue in 2015, with $2.9 million generated per year for the remaining nine years.

Commissioner Bruce Kubicek stated, “[Minnesota’s Transportation Finance Advisory Committee] documented $2.5 billion per year for the next 20 years as we’re falling behind in maintaining roads in the state of Minnesota. That’s the city streets, county roads, township roads and state roads. If you’re thinking the state is going to bail us out on this one, my personal opinion is I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

Commissioner Doug Johnson concurred with Kubicek. “The state Legislature did not take on the gas tax, and my interpretation when they spoke to us is they didn’t think they had the votes or didn’t want to take it on an election year, so they passed a law that allows counties to levy the half cent in this manner with a public hearing and a resolution.”