Minnesota tax group urges 'no' vote on outdoors sales tax

The question
The actual wording of the outdoors/arts referendum question that will be on the ballot in November.
MPR Photo/Tom Weber

Opponents of a proposed state sales tax increase for the outdoors and arts are ramping up their campaign to try to defeat the ballot measure this fall.

Former U.S. Sen. Rod Grams and other Republican officials say they will urge voters to reject the constitutional amendment on Nov. 4. The Taxpayers League of Minnesota is leading the "Vote No" effort.

Grams says state lawmakers could have improved water quality, wildlife habitat and cultural programs with existing funds. He says amending the Constitution to increase the sales tax 3/8 of 1 percent is bad policy.

"They want to tack on a new tax, by a group of special interests that want to pick the pockets of Minnesota taxpayers, to create a slush fund to enable them to spend monies on their pet projects," said Grams.

Supporters of the ballot question says Grams and others are misrepresenting and oversimplifying the issue.

Garry Leaf of the group Sportsmen for Change says the measure enjoys broad support from a variety of outdoors and arts organizations. He says a constitutional amendment is needed because legislators have short changed the environment and arts for too long.

Create a More Connected Minnesota

MPR News is your trusted resource for the news you need. With your support, MPR News brings accessible, courageous journalism and authentic conversation to everyone - free of paywalls and barriers. Your gift makes a difference.