Edinans work hard and play hard.
Right now, two of our best places to play --
Fred Richards Park and Braemar Park and Arena -- are in play themselves. To continue serving the growing number of people who call Edina home, City leaders have put forward a $64.6 million investment plan to complete the conversion of the shuttered Fred Richards Executive Golf Course into a multi-faceted park and to reinvest in Braemar Park and Arena with a wide range of amenities and improvements. On Nov. 8, 2022, Edina voters approved a local half-percent sales tax option to finance the first phase of this investment.
New biking and pedestrian trails and restoration of natural habitat and vegetation.
Important infrastructure repairs at Braemar Arena.
More playgrounds, picnic areas and pickleball courts.
MILES OF MOUNTAIN
PLATFORM TENNIS AND/OR
The city is proposing a half-percent local option sales tax to finance the investment. The State Legislature already authorized the City to place the sales tax option on this November’s ballot to provide $39.3 million for both parks. During the 2022 session, the City asked lawmakers to allow Edina voters to consider using the same local option sales tax to pay for an additional $25.3 million to expand Braemar Arena, which would include a fourth sheet of indoor ice. While the request was part of the omnibus tax bill, the legislation stalled. If the local option sales tax is approved in November, the City plans to return to the Legislature next session with the same request for the Arena expansion.
Yes. Over the past five years, local option sales taxes have emerged as an important investment tool for cities and counties to fund major public projects. Edina is one of 15 cities and counties in Minnesota that have authorization from the State Legislature to propose a sales tax to voters in November 2022, including Maple Grove, Carlton County and Grand Rapids. More than 40 other cities have been authorized by the Legislature over the past 20 years to enact a sales tax to help fund regional improvements.
City leaders began gathering input from residents in 2016 regarding the needs of Fred Richards and Braemar parks. Feedback from community meetings and surveys helped shape the investment plan, and the City successfully received legislative approval in 2021 to propose a half-percent sales tax to voters to finance it. Ultimately, Edina residents will decide whether this is the right commitment for our community.
The sales tax option would spread the tax impact of the project across both residents and non-residents, rather than only residents who own or rent property. Approximately 54 percent of a sales tax increase would be paid by nonresidents of Edina, according to a newly updated analysis by the University of Minnesota. A local sales tax option also gives residents the ability to choose how improvements to the city’s parks will be financed.
No. The sales tax expires in 19 years. If the bonds for the parks projects are paid off before then, the sales tax expires earlier. The only way the tax could be extended or used for other projects would be if the Legislature authorized the change and Edina voters approved.
If voters approve at least one of the two ballot questions, the half-percent sales tax would take effect in 2023, and project work would begin after that.
- Mayor James B. Hovland
200% More Pickleball Courts (From 5 to 15)
100% More Mountain Bike Trails (5.8 miles to be exact)
8% More Playgrounds (From 24 to 26)