At its meeting today (Jan. 25), the Wright County Board of Commissioners approved setting a public hearing for 9:30 a.m. at its Tuesday, Feb. 15 to discuss the future of the county’s Local Option Sales Tax (LOST).
Enacted in Wright County in late-2017, LOST was approved for a five-year period, which expires Dec. 31, 2022. LOST was created as a county option due to reduced state funding for local road projects, which left many counties with the unenviable task of levying for those dollars. The current recommendation from the Wright County Highway Department is to extend LOST for 10 years. In the four-plus years LOST has been in Wright County, it has raised approximately $8.5 million a year – money that can only be used on county road and bridge projects. Of that total, 25 percent (more than $9 million of the $34 million raised) has come from people who don’t live in Wright County.
Wright County is far from alone in having a Local Option Sales Tax. Of Minnesota’s 87 counties, 50 have a Local Option Sales, 54 charge a wheelage tax ($10-20 charged annually when license tabs are renewed) and 31 counties have both.
To see a map of the counties that have LOST, a wheelage tax, both or neither, click here: https://www.mncounties.org/legislative/local_option_taxes_for_transportation/index.php