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West Fargo sales tax increase going toward infrastructure

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West Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A day after voters passed a one percent sales tax increase,

West Fargo city leaders are preparing for 3 million more dollars every year in the budget.

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West Fargo's 1% increase brings its sales tax to 7.5%.

Rich Mattern/ West Fargo Mayor: "Nobody likes to raise taxes, but in this case we felt as a commission this would be the least painful."

Least painful because the other option was raising the water and sewer rates.

The new sales tax is only going to be used for infrastructure purposes like a $300,000 traffic light at this busy intersection.

Mattern: "With this sales tax if people that come to West Fargo to shop, or eat, or dine, or stay they're taking part in paying for this infrastructure improvements."

Or it will be used for a $2 million dollar water tower at the corner of Veterans and 32nd.

Jim Brownlee/ West Fargo City Administrator: "As population grows and demand grows you just have to put more water towers up."

When the commission first looked into infrastructure projects they identified over $200 million worth of projects. They eventually narrowed it down to 60 totaling $124 million over a 20 year time span.

Brownlee: "I said 'only put projects on the list that we know we're going to do.'"

The extra tax is estimated to bring in about 3 million more dollars a year, but the Mayor thinks that's a conservative estimate.

The tax should take effect in the next 90 days after retailors and state agencies are given legal notice.

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