2017 County Salary Data

Minnesota Statutes. [471.701] ANNUAL SALARY DATA

A county with a population of more than 15,000 shall notify residents of the positions and base salaries of (at least) its three highest-paid employees.

 

For your information, 2017 top salaries:

County Administrator  $125,826

County Sheriff  $120,338

County Engineer  $118,768

County Auditor/Treasurer  $114,870

County Attorney  $108,299

 

County Commissioner  $29,662 

 

Questions About Sales Tax

10-28-16   Questions About Sales Tax

 

Many residents have questioned the actual percentage of sales tax paid by non-residents/tourists after hearing a lot of different rumors in the community. 

Sales tax is paid directly to a merchant. I researched and learned that the only taxpayer identifiable information provided in a transaction (e.g. home zip code) stays with that merchant.   The merchant pays the total sales tax collected to the State.  The MN Dept. of Revenue sends Chisago County a check for a local portion of sales tax received.*

 

That process DOES NOT involve sharing of information about the people who paid the sales tax.  In addition, neither Chisago County nor its HRA/EDA staff have performed a factual analysis to date on local sales tax data.

 

In summary, ANY percentage given about tourists vs. residents – 20%, 30%, 40%, even 100% for folks trying to be excessively optimistic -- is profoundly misleading without ANY factual data to support it.

 

* (The New Local Sales Tax was approved by the County Board on a split 3-2 vote.  It became effective 4/1/16.)

 

1/2% Local Sales Tax Impact

On 11/18/15, the majority commissioners -- Robinson, Greene and McMahon -- approved a 1/2 Percent Sales Tax to begin effective 4/1/16 in Chisago County. 

 

Commissioner Walker states:  "I did not vote for this tax nor do I support it.  The new sales tax hinders our ability to thrive and to attract new business.  If residents do business elsewhere, the local economy suffers."    

Clarification on Jail Vote 7-6-16

July 6, 2016 Update - The County Board on a 4-1 vote (Commissioner Walker was the only NO vote) will spend up to $20 million dollars of your money financing a new Law Enforcement Complex.  Why? 
 
The Department of Corrections pushed the Board to resolve concerns with an aging jail. Commissioners saw a window of opportunity to give the Sheriff a law enforcement building attached to the jail.  It was wrong to imply to the public that it was all mandated by the state.  While a modest jail may be needed; the Law Enforcement Complex was unnecessary.  Why not save money and resolve jail sanctions by just building a jail ? 

I could have voted for a reasonable jail-only project IF other essential public needs were considered as well.  Funding from retiring bonds used to fund the new jail project should also have been used to fund road projects and provide property tax relief.   In the end, the rest of the board was unwilling to listen, compromise, or consider using this money for other needs. 

My comments about this topic in a recent newspaper story were misleading so I will clarify.  The board majority has now spent the money and started building the Law Enforcement Complex.  I consistently voted no. 
 
However, once the building is built, it becomes another one of your county assets.  As such, I will take responsibility for properly managing it, along with all other county buildings, by voting (yes or no) on issues that involve contracting for food and clothing for inmates, electricity, increased staffing, maintenance, etc. 
 
I hope this clarifies why up until this point my vote has been no to build, but in the future it may be yes regarding facility upkeep and maintenance.

NO Vote on Jail is Explained

For your information - A promotional brochure (campaign flyer) attempting to justify building a new jail is being distributed in the community. It was prepared and printed using your tax dollars. However, NO tax funding was used to prepare this document.

 

Reasons why I voted NO to building an expensive new jail:

Commissioners are counting on you to believe NO levy increases will be required to pay for this project. Decide for yourself.

 

1. Old Jail should be demolished. This is one thing all commissioners agree. For many years, the old jail building was not properly maintained due to campaigns to build a new jail. It was easier to "justify" building something new if the old structure was falling apart. As a direct result, it has failed to meet the high standards of the Dept. of Corrections (DOC) and has become functionally obsolete.

 

2. NO outside, independent assessment of options. Jail options were only analyzed by county staff. NO independent review or analysis was conducted. It was agreed, however, that financial misstatements were made but never corrected. This was very disappointing. Treating or affecting all plans equally cannot occur if the only analysis is conducted by an interested party. Anyone who can reasonably benefit from the end result cannot be considered or viewed as impartial to only the facts.

Read more: NO Vote on Jail is Explained

Representing Chisago County District 1

North Branch C, Chisago City, Lent Township, and North Chisago Lakes Township

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