To the Editor:
The Little Falls City Council, led by Mayor VanRisseghem, voted for a resolution that proposes a sales tax for one-half cent to pay for a $7.9 million Recreation Complex and Splash Pad (July 13 Record).
I strongly believe this tax increase proposal to be fiscally irresponsible and a serious barrier to job creation. The small businesses that are so important to Little Falls are already overburdened with significant increases in their property taxes.
Minnesota’s sales tax rate of 6.875 percent is fifth highest in the nation. California is highest at 7.25 percent.
Under this proposal, Little Falls residents would be paying a rate of 7.375 percent — more than that of any state in the nation.
The current bonded indebtedness for the city of Little Falls is an astounding $24.697 million with interest payments totaling an additional $4.494 million.
It should be a much higher priority for the mayor and Council to first pay down this debt before they incur more on recreation/splash pads. We have and need to maintain strong police and fire departments. Infrastructure, water and sewer, streets, sidewalks and public safety must always be a city’s highest priorities.
There is, indeed, an urgent need for change in the mayor’s office. — Steve Wenzel, Little Falls