Got questions? We have answers. Check back often as we may be adding more information as the referendum vote date approaches.
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. Edina voters approved the investment plan in November 2022.
The skating community brought forward a special project request to expand the Arena. That request was evaluated by City staff, reviewed by the Parks & Recreation Commission and adopted as an amendment to the master Plan by the City Council. In November 2023, Edina voters approved the investment plan using the same sales tax approved in 2022.
Here’s a summary of how the funding will be allocated:
At Fred Richards Park: $17.7 million will be used to provide a wide range of new amenities, such as new trails, eight new pickleball courts, new basketball courts, accessible playground areas, a pavilion and lawn games area, an improved clubhouse with expanded food and beverage options, and additional parking and access via West 77th Street. Edina voters approved this investment in November 2022.
At Braemar Park: $8.1 million will be invested on a variety of additions, including a new trail system for walking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing; new pickleball courts and platform tennis courts; upgrades to the baseball complex; a playground; and improved access to Braemar Golf Course, Braemar Arena and Courtney Fields. Edina voters approved this investment in November 2022.
Braemar Arena updates: $13.5 million will address critical infrastructure repairs and upgrades, including the HVAC system, roofing, restrooms, locker rooms and rink cooling systems. Edina voters approved this investment in November 2022.
Braemar Arena expansion: $31.7 million will demolish the South Rink and add two new ice rinks, build an improved drop-off/pick-up area, add parking and expand the lobby.
The Edina City Council determined that the cost of the projects should be shared among residents and nonresidents who buy goods and services in the city rather than use a property tax increase, which would be paid solely by those who own commercial and residential property in the city. Approximately 54 percent of the sales tax increase will be paid by nonresidents of Edina, according to an analysis by the University of Minnesota.
The local half-percent sales tax will be applied the same as the state sales tax. There are some exemptions to the sales tax, including groceries, clothing, prescription drugs and baby products. For more information, view this list of taxable items and this list of most nontaxable items from the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
The half-percent sales tax went into effect in Edina on April 1, 2023, and will last no longer than 19 years. The average cost per resident of the sales tax will be about $3.03 per month, or $36.35 per year, according to an analysis by the University of Minnesota.
No. The sales tax expires in 19 years. If the bonds for the 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.