Sales tax increase passes in St. Paul, all-female city council expected
St. Paul residents have cast their votes on a 1% sales tax referendum and a fast-changing City Council.
Sales tax increase
Residents voted to implement a 1% sales tax in the city over the next 20 years to pay for roads and parks.
The increase passed with 60.19% of votes, with all precincts counted.
The tax increase will go into effect in April.
Officials said St. Paul would collect nearly $1 billion in revenue over the next two decades with the tax increase. It would generate $738 million for road improvement and reconstruction projects and $246 million for improvements to Parks and Recreation facilities.
“I think it’s important to have good infrastructure and if sales tax is what we need to do that, that’s fine,” said Corey Lohman, who lives in St. Paul.
St. Paul will have the highest sales tax of any city in the state at 9.875%.
“I voted against it,” said Holly Farrell, who lives in St. Paul. “I feel like we pay property taxes for roads. I’m not sure where that money has gone.”
Calvin Stewart brought his two young daughters to vote.
“I think for the sales tax, I understand what the mayor is trying to do, what the city is trying to do,” he said. “It’s still one of those things, we have to make sure we’re not raising taxes every year.”
City council elections
All seven seats on the council were up for grabs this year, with four members opting not to run for reelection. The three council members who sought reelection included Mitra Jalali, Rebecca Noecker and Nelsie Yang. In total, there were 30 candidates split among St. Paul’s seven City Council wards.
As of 6:20 a.m. Wednesday, all precincts were accounted for and showed the council will likely be all women. The results were as follows:
Anika Bowie was in the lead with 39.71% of the vote.
Rebecca Noecker (Incumbent) wins reelection with 63.36% of the vote.
Saura Jost wins with 48.48% of the vote after Isaac Russel conceded at 11 p.m. Tuesday.
Mitra Jalali (Incumbent) won reelection with 79.44% of the vote.
Hwa Jeong Kim won the election with 51.95% of the vote.
Nelsie Yang (Incumbent) won reelection with 61.48% of the vote.
Cheniqua Johnson wins with 41.15% of the vote.
In wards where no candidate received over 50% of the vote in the first round of balloting, a winner will be decided through ranked-choice tabulation. St. Paul voters can rank up to six candidates.
You can view the full St. Paul election results here.