MINERS PROBLEMS

Frank Judnick shows off some of the failing systems in the boiler room at the Miner's Memorial Building in Virginia.

VIRGINIA — The Virginia City Council on Tuesday night took another step forward in the implementation of the 1% sales tax to pay for the Miners Memorial Complex. The tax is set to go into effect January 2020.

During the 2019 special session, the Minnesota Legislature passed a tax bill signed by Governor Tim Walz authorizing the city of Virginia “to impose by ordinance a sales and use tax of up to one percent to pay the cost of collecting the tax and to pay for all or part of the costs related to the renovation, reconstruction, expansion and improvements of the Miners Memorial recreation complex and convention center, in an amount not to exceed $30,000,000.”

The city is currently working on designing the renovation, reconstruction, expansion and improvements to Miners. They are currently meeting with key stakeholders and will soon be holding public input meetings before finalizing plans.

“We hope to have this approved and shovels in the ground in Spring 2020,” said Virginia Mayor Larry Cuffe Jr.

This project will be funded by the 1% sales tax implemented in Virginia. According to the state Legislature, which was required to approve such a tax, the tax will be used to raise no more than $30 million dollars over 20 years.

“These projections were based on 2016 tax information,” said Cuffe, explaining that he expects the $30 million to be raised in less than 20 years. “There will be some exceptions to this tax such as the sale of motor vehicles.”

“State has to approve one more time,” explained Britt See-Benes, City Administrator, over the phone Wednesday, explaining that this is all part of the process. “Now it is perfunctory just sending documentation.”

Some of the documentation the city has sent to the state were the election results to show that it was voted on by citizens.

“Last night we approved that the legislature approved the sales tax,” she said.

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