BY PRESIDENT NESS:
The council makes the following findings:
(a) The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center is very important to the cultural and economic life of the city;
(b) The University of Minnesota Duluth would benefit from, and actively seeks, an improved facility for its hockey program and other events;
(c) The city’s tourism industry and cultural growth will significantly benefit from new additions to the DECC facility, which will be suitable for use for concerts, exhibitions, hockey games, sporting events, public gatherings and other uses;
(d) At this time, the city, the University of Minnesota and the DECC board have developed a feasible plan to construct the needed improvements and it is for the best of public purposes that this be accomplished.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:
Section 1. That the council declares, under Section 51 of the Charter, that there shall be a special election on February 28, 2006, for the purpose of submitting to the electors of the city, by way of referendum, a resolution requesting the legislature to authorize the financing of the needed improvements to the DECC facility, in part, by allowing a .75 percent increase in the city food and beverage sales tax, under certain conditions. The clerk is authorized and directed to prepare and mail or publish any and all notices of such referendum question as are required by the City Charter.
Section 2. That the question presented to the electors on the ballot of the said special election shall read as follows:
If the state of Minnesota allocates enough funds for the project to go forward and to pay for up to one-half of the cost of a new arena for concerts, conventions, hockey and other events at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC), then should the city of Duluth seek permission from the legislature to pay for part of the remaining cost by increasing the existing sales tax on food and beverages purchased in Duluth bars and restaurants by .75 percent (7.5 cents per ten dollars spent), subject to the following conditions:
(a) The tax increase would only take effect if the state allocates money for the project to go forward and to pay up to one-half of the project costs; and
(b) The state approves the new tax; and
(c) The tax is only in effect for the period of time needed for it to raise enough money to pay off the city’s portion of the project cost?
A “yes” vote means you favor funding the new arena in this manner.
A “no” vote means you do not favor funding the new arena in this manner.
Section 3. That the clerk is directed to place the referendum question set out above on the ballot of the February 28, 2006, special election.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: This resolution submits to referendum a resolution to ask the legislature to fund up to one-half of the cost of a new arena at the DECC and to allow the city to finance its share of the project cost from a temporary .75 percent (7.5 cents per ten dollars) increase in the food and beverage sales tax. If the legislature agrees, it will pass legislation to do so and that will go to the city council for approval.