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Luverne Mayor pushes for 1-cent sales tax

Luverne Mayor Joe R. Sport proposed an increase in the city’s sales tax at Monday’s city council meeting. He suggested the city add a cent for every dollar spent but said he would consider a half-cent increase. The current sales tax is 9 cents on every dollar spent. Luverne sees two cents. The rest is divided amongst the schools and the state.
“I suggested 1 cent because if you do that, you don’t have to go back and do that in a few years,” he said.
After comprising a budget for the next fiscal year, Sport said the city’s revenues were down and raising the tax was the quickest way to bring them up again.
“We’ve got three or four sources of revenue: electric, water, trash, sales tax and property tax,” he said. “Everybody pays sales tax and that’s the fastest way to raise revenue for any substantial amount.”
The city last increased sales taxes in January 2003, after Sport took office.
The council will vote on the proposed increase at its next meeting Sept. 22. If the resolution passes, the additional sales tax could start as soon as Nov. 1.
If the council does not pass the resolution, Sport said the city would have to consider budget cuts and employees would likely not see a raise this year.
“The whole point is to keep your self solvent,” he said.