Woodbury City Council Workshop Meeting ~ October 18, 2023
A proposal for Woodbury to establish a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) was discussed and passed. The purpose is to market the community to travelers and further develop and promote Woodbury’s growing tourism offerings. The DMO will be governed by the Economic Development Commission and funded by a 3% hotel tax. It is expected to launch the 1st quarter of 2024. Related article:
The Woodbury Public Safety Campus must be updated at a cost of $50 million. In January 2023 Council gave direction to pursue a referendum ballot question at the State Legislature, and to request sales tax authorization from the voters at the General Election on November 5, 2024. Researchers from the University of Minnesota - Extension conducted a study and presented a Local Option Sales Tax Analysis Report which details that over 53 percent of taxable sales come from non-residents. Ehlers (a public finance advisory company) has provided the bonding impacts on the property tax should this initiative fail. If approved by voters, the sales tax would accrue $51,500,000 over 20 years. Staff has been given approval to prepare a resolution of acceptance of the legislative authority to proceed; and to continue preparing for a November 2024 Sales Tax Referendum. If the referendum does not pass, (estimated at $30.73 per resident) the cost to update the campus will come from property taxes. Taxes on a $501,000 house would be an estimated $133.16/per year. Related articles: https://finance-commerce.com/2023/10/woodbury-floats-sales-tax-to-pay-for-51-5m-public-safety-campus/. https://www.twincities.com/2023/04/09/woodbury-sales-tax-increase-public-safety-expansion/
A .5% sales tax was requested by Community Relations to help volunteers empower voters with education on the November 2024 Sales Tax Referendum. Employees of the city may not lobby for a referendum; their role is to educate residents.
Mayor Burt applied for and was accepted to the Mayors Institute on City Design (MICD) national leadership program where a mayor can present a problem and other mayors and city designers provide guidance to solve it. The costs for the program are absorbed by the institute. https://www.micd.org/about/
The Bi-Annual Survey of Woodbury Residents was reviewed to ensure questions were appropriate. 42 thousand residents are randomly selected as the control group and all other residents are invited to complete the survey. https://www.woodburymn.gov/191/Community-Survey
A link for the meeting minutes is here. No recording was available at the time of the report.