ST. JOSEPH -- St. Joseph city council members will have their first formal conversation on a possible food and beverage tax for that city. It is on a work-study agenda scheduled for Thursday night.

Mayor Rick Schultz says going into that meeting he doesn't know how his fellow councilors feel about the tax, but it would be a way to generate some additional revenue for the city.

We're a smaller community, it really would benefit our community because 30 percent of our parcels are tax exempt.  We'd dedicate it to things like parks, trails, youth activities some of those things that are terribly underfunded right now.

Schultz says, if there is a consensus among the city council, they could ask the state legislature for its approval yet during this session, so the food and beverage tax question could be on the November ballot for voter approval. However, he says he understands the tax climate we are in right now.

We may not get anything done this year.  It just may be like we're overtaxed.  Right now with the state budget at $9.3 billion surplus we know we're overtaxed.  I'm not a tax guy.  But, at the same time, we have to look at trying to fund some of the programs were trying to build.

The city of St. Cloud has had a 1 percent food and beverage tax in place since 1987.

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The residents in Sartell just voted down a 1.5 percent food and beverage for that city last month.

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