Excelsior explores new taxes to cash in on Lake Minnetonka tourism

  • Article by: Kelly Smith , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 4, 2014 - 3:33 PM

Money raised would help improve tourist attractions.

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Arch4003Feb. 4, 14 4:38 PM

A 1% tax doesn't sound like it would impact shoppers all that much, but what Excelsior really needs to do first is to attract new tenants (and good ones) to the two major storefronts at the main intersection at 2nd and Water Streets. The former restaurant/Bacon Drug building has been empty for over a year, and now the gift shop on the opposite corner is going out. Excelsior needs these filled quickly if they have any hope of attracting more tourists.

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texas_technomanFeb. 5, 14 6:18 AM

How about they tax the folks that use the commons...instead of everyone else. Just charge admission to the 4th of July celebration.

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MinnesotaHeartFeb. 5, 14 1:41 PM

This is a smart move. Excelsior is such a cool little village, but it is expected to the be the playland for the area while sticking all of the boring maintenance and upkeep costs to a very small group of residents and businesses. It is great that folks from so many surrounding communities like to call Excelsior their downtown, but with that comes a responsibility for everyone who benefits to pitch in a bit. The big question is if a 1% tax would drive business away. I don't think so. I doubt a diner who was about to go to Yumi's Sushi or Lago Tacos will instead head to Applebees or Perkins in Chan because their entree will cost another dollar. But that is just one person's opinion.

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mnanimatorFeb. 5, 14 2:49 PM

The old Bacon Drug is getting a new restaurant this year (in June, so it's said) called 'Victor's on Water'. It is disappointing to see the shop opposite of it going out, yes. Hopefully it isn't vacant long.

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jeffpostFeb. 5, 14 5:10 PM

Although I have sympathy for the local businesses, a 1% tax seems fair. If it drives improvement along the lake front, I think that it will be a net plus for businesses. As someone who ventures into Excelsior often , including Jake O'Connor's last night, the 1% tax would not deter me or my family. Jake's is a great pub.

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boni320Feb. 7, 14 6:54 AM

Excelsior is in Hennepin county, which is already overtaxed. Adding another 1% to purchases in Excelsior will put them well above an 8% sales tax rate, which is ridiculous. I'll shop and dine elsewhere, thank you very much...

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fwallenFeb. 7, 14 8:58 AM

It's about the only tool available to Excelsior besides raising already very high real estate taxes. Excelsior shouldn't be required to go to the legislature to get a special bill passed. The bills like this are often successful but the cost of lobbying the legislature is high especially for outstate communities. A solution that would provide the option of a local tax for any city in MN withe the approval of local voters. It's way past time for the state to let go of some of these historic tentacles.

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topmycatFeb. 7, 14 1:47 PM

Try living within your means. If you cannot afford it, maybe its best left undone.

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oldadvisorFeb. 7, 14 2:38 PM

I highly doubt anyone venturing to Excelsior to drop $100 on food and drinks along with tip is concerned over another $1. Being parking can be so awful at times in Excelsior, maybe a couple 2 story parking ramps by Maynards and also on the south side of town would solve two problems for the city. At $5 a space, you would only need to fill 40,000 space annually, just over 100 a day,to have the same revenue not taking construction cost into consideration. Just a thought vs. falling on taxes to solve everything.

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Zekeman10Feb. 7, 14 2:46 PM

I just love it when posters come up with ridiculous ideas - like build two parking ramps to generate revenue, yet have no clue on how to pay for the ramps, and then think their idea is anything close to realistic. I'm sure the Excelsior staff considered lots of ideas to raise revenue and preserve the historic nature of their area - the 1% tax seems feasible. I don't live there, but I go to Excelsior a number of times each year for a night out with my spouse; the 1% won't matter to me.

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