Know "no" and "yes, yes." Voters will face questions on two topics on Tuesday, one regarding a constitutional amendment for the state, and one regarding support for Willmar schools.
The constitutional amendment seeks to add a sale tax to increase spending for the environment. I urge you to vote no to that idea. The idea of improved environment is fine, but putting a regressive sales tax in the constitution is not. Constitutional changes are not easy to make, and taxes should be limited to legislative action.
If the governor and legislators can't accept the responsibility for a tax increase, or agree on budget priorities to make a greater emphasis on the environment, let's change the people in those positions rather than lock in a tax into the constitution. Taxation without legislative process is unacceptable. Vote no on the constitutional amendment.
The local school district has proposed a two-question approach to funding our schools. We need to support this effort to maintain the quality of our schools rather than see them reduced to a minimum level of education. The quality of our whole community is at stake, not just the education of our children. The reputation of Willmar as a desirable community is critical to the value of our houses. An increase in our property tax will be offset by the increased value of our homes.
The growing MinnWest technology center in town wants to develop a research center that would attract numerous scientists to conduct research. The move of research personnel into town will strengthen the demand for houses and the value of our homes. However, I can't imagine young families of educated scientists wanting to move to Willmar if the school system just provides a minimum education with large classes and deleted academic, artistic, and athletic programs not available to students. We have elected local people to set school policy. Now we need to accept their recommendation and vote yes, yes, for the funding of the schools and the strengthening of the community.