First, we need clarification as to exactly what will be taxed and if the county
uses the funds for which it is specifically intended for "funded county projects."
Conventional wisdom tells me we should enact a half-cent local-option sales tax before the legislation goes into effect, thus retaining more transportation dollars in Scott County. Hopefully, this process will prevent the lobbying group Move On Minnesota and their coalition partners and the Met Council out of our taxpayers’ business. Our elected representatives are paid to protect the best interests of the taxpayer instead of handing it over to a lobbyist group.
However, common sense leads me to believe if we act on the onetime opportunity Use Tax for Scott County, it doesn't mean we have to implement the tax immediately. By law, the sales tax sunsets once we complete the road projects.
If enacted, I would support this only if the taxpayers have an opportunity to weigh in and cast a vote on any or all county-specified "funded county projects."
However, before funding any new projects, we need to fix, manage and maintain existing problems.
Voting on projects could prevent us from constructing another dangerous “intersection to nowhere” like the Arcadia and County Road 21 in Prior Lake. It could also prevent another four-lane freeway running through our backyards—our once quiet little "good quality neighborhoods" along County Road 21 up to Highway 169.
I've lived in Prior Lake for more than 32 years, and every highway project so far has been a detriment with little or no improvement to my lifestyle or pocketbook. I'm not impressed by the way my tax dollars are spent and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
We are frustrated and tired of hearing roaring exhaust systems that can be heard and felt over a wide distance, rattling windows and traveling through walls. This includes noise from trucks, “Jake Braking,” illegal motorcycle exhaust noise, all traffic noise and excessive speed in general.”
This is blatant disrespect not only for the residents of Prior Lake, but for everyone along Hwy. 21 to the Hwy. 169 junction. Lack of knowledgeable law enforcement officials and the unwillingness to enforce the law doesn't help matters either.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but, of all the project descriptions listed, nowhere did I see any projects for noise abatement.
After several years of residents complaining about noise abatement without any recognition from the county or city, it's disconcerting and tells me where their priorities lay.
Several months ago, a petition was started by several Scott County residents on Change.org petitioning noise abatement and law enforcement. Imagine my surprise when I was informed by the Scott County engineer that all emails from Change.org and my personal emails would be blocked by the county. Go to Change.org and type in City of Prior Lake, Scott County and read the comments from the unhappy residents .
Lastly, if transportation money is needed to fund roads for the millions of visitors that the entertainment venues attract and profit from, I suggest the county enact an entertainment fee for each ticket purchased.
If the entertainment businesses balk at that, I suggest you install toll booths.
John K. Siskoff