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Commentary: Confusing investment with spending?

Why is there a correlation between an improving economy and an appetite on the part of elected officials to help themselves to a share of returning prosperity?

The Scott County Board will vote on a half-cent sales tax for roads and transit on May 12, and, in a May 2 opinion piece, Prior Lake Mayor Ken Hedberg is already coveting fresh revenues to pay for growth and additional services before next year’s budget season is even underway.

The proposed half-cent sales tax for roads and transit was on the Scott County Board’s agenda for an April 21 vote, when it was abruptly pulled and the vote postponed, ostensibly because commissioners wanted more time to consult with constituents, even though the measure had been under consideration since 2013. The proposal is controversial, and it’s also possible the vote was delayed because there weren’t enough votes to pass it.

With the delay, the board announced plans for outreach efforts that would have taken at least several weeks, maybe months to build support for the measure. Then, just as quickly as the vote was called off, it was abruptly rescheduled for May 12. The about face came because of a bill in the Minnesota Senate proposing a quarter percent hike in the transit tax levied by the Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB). The same bill would require Scott County join the board. However, if Scott County already has a tax in place, its tax would be grandfathered and the county exempted from joining CTIB. Please read more at the Prior Lake American