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Many cities share in Rochester’s local sales tax, and now more want a piece

Rochester shares some of the proceeds of its half-cent city sales tax with 17 cities in the area; now more want a piece of the pie.

In November, voters in Rochester approved a plan to continue the city’s extra half-cent sales tax for the next 15 years.

Part of the deal, though, when the Legislature agreed to let the city vote on the extension, is that 17 nearby cities would get to share in the action. They’ll split about $5 million over the next two years.

Now, though, at least four other cities want in, too, says the Rochester Post-Bulletin.

Officials from Wanamingo and Mazeppa say they were inadvertently left off the list of sharing cities, so Assistant House Minority Leader Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, plans a bill to include to include them in the largess. He might include Dexter and Grand Meadow, too.

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“This is really an attempt to fix the oversight that happened when the initial list was put together,” Drazkowski said.

Rep. Tina Liebling, DFL-Rochester, doesn’t really want to add more cities and doesn’t think the sharing plan was such a good idea in the first place.

“I am still incensed that this was done because I view it as just pork, and I really think it’s unfair that Rochester has been basically forced to do this,” she told the paper.