Tax doesn't aid core issues, group says. But supporters for tax cite dwindling budgets for outdoors and the arts.
A small coalition, led by the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, released a radio ad Thursday opposing the proposed state constitutional amendment to increase the sales tax to help fund the outdoors, the environment and the arts.
The ad features a woman talking with the sounds of children in the background. "One thing's for sure these days; it's getting harder and harder to balance my family's budget," she says. "The last thing I need is another tax increase.
"What's even more ridiculous is none of the tax increase is for education or health care," the woman says.
Taxpayers League officials said that the $100,000 ad campaign would begin airing next week but that they weren't expecting to match the amendment's supporters in fundraising.
The proposed amendment, which will be on the Nov. 4 ballot, would raise nearly $300 million annually for 25 years through a three-eighths of a percent sales tax increase, with 80 percent of the money going to clean water, game, fish and wildlife habitat and parks and trails. The rest would be dedicated to the arts and cultural heritage.
The ad is expected to be countered quickly by the Vote Yes Minnesota campaign, which is more heavily financed and which proponents claim has support from scores of wide-ranging groups. "How are we going to [spend adequate money on these areas] in the next 30 years? We're now at 30-year lows as it relates to conservation spending," said Ken Martin, the Vote Yes campaign manager.
For the amendment to be adopted, it must be approved by a majority of voters who take part in the general election, not just those who vote on the amendment itself.