NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The North Mankato City Council voted to impose a 0.5 percent local sales tax on all food and drinks sold as served.
The increase in revenue will go toward operation and maintenance costs of Caswell Park related to regional tourism events, such as softball tournaments.
Supporters said it’s a way to have a voluntary tax to benefit a city location rather than raising property taxes to help pay for it.
“One half of one percent, as people largely know if you’re out for dinner and spend $30, it’s all of 15 cents. And this tax will also be applied to visitors and North Mankato residents when they’re eating," City Administrator John Harrenstein said.
Critics of the tax argued that the city should not target local businesses and instead should look for other funding options.
“Honestly I feel that the food and beverage tax is not going to, the money raised is not going to cover enough of a deficit that we need to get covered to get those projects that are so vital for our community to get done, done. I honestly feel that there could be other avenues that could be used to pay for the community asset," Council Member Sandra Oachs said.
The tax will go into effect on January 1, 2020.
Also on Monday, the council approved a new payment structure for their salaries, which takes effect after the next election.