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Donald Storbeck, Published June 28 2009

Fargo flood tax does not compute

I do not live in Fargo, but I feel I have the right to comment about your new sales tax that you want me to pay.

Let’s look at the math, starting with the Army Corps of Engineers estimate of what it will cost for flood protection and the city of Fargo’s share. The projected 35 percent for Fargo of the $650 million estimate would be $227.5 million. The state of North Dakota has already said it would contribute

$75 million, which then leaves a total of $152.5 million to be raised. The sales tax would raise $200 million over 20 years. Does this add up? No.

Looking at a 2.5 percent inflation rate, which is very conservative for the next 20 years, I figure the $200 million would balloon into $350 million. Are you wondering if somebody is leading you down the wrong path?

People of Fargo, a sales tax is not the answer. In fact it is one step above the worst tax there is, which is a flat tax.

Let’s look at how Fargo should be paying for this flood protection. Individuals building $200,000-plus homes maybe should build $150,000 homes and pay for their own flood protection,

Vote “no” on the sales tax until you know what you’re voting for and the impact it will have. And also, how much the Corps of Engineers estimate will actually be. Then make a decision of “how to pay for it.”