If approved, the total cost of the investment plan for Braemar Arena and Park and Fred Richards Park would be funded by a half-percent sales tax increase.
The Edina City Council concluded that a half-percent sales tax option was the best choice to finance this investment plan because the cost is spread among residents and nonresidents. According to research by the University of Minnesota, 60 percent of the half-percent sales tax increase would be paid by nonresidents as they visit local businesses.
If the projects were funded through a property tax increase, then the cost burden would fall to Edina residents who own or rent commercial and residential property.
If approved by Edina voters, collections from the sales tax would be used to make the bond payments for financing the project over a 19-year period. During that time, consumers would pay an additional 5 cents per $10 taxable purchase in Edina. 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.
The average cost per resident of the sales tax would be $2.62 per month, or $31.48 per year, according to an analysis by the University of Minnesota.
As part of the general election on Nov. 8, Edina voters will consider two ballot questions:
The sales tax will not exceed a total of one-half of one percent (O.5%), even if both questions are approved.
If the 2023 Legislature approves the City’s request during the current session, Edina voters would also get to decide whether to use the sales tax option to finance an additional $25.3 million for the Braemar Arena expansion.