Local Option Sales Tax

The City of Oakdale will have two questions on the November 8, 2022 general election ballot related to a Local Option SalesTax (L.O.S.T.) to help remodel and expand the current Police facility and fund a new Public Works facility. This page will provide resources for voters about the local option sales tax. 

Local Option Sales Tax FAQs

Quick Facts

  • The local option sales tax will be decided by the voters on Election Day – November 8, 2022.
  • The total sales tax, if approved by voters to finance one or both projects, will not exceed one-half of one percent (0.5%).
  • With sales tax, non-residents would share the cost with residents. 
  • The maximum length of the sales tax is 25 years. 
  • The current tax rate is 7.375 percent. If approved by voters, the tax rate will be 7.875 percent. 

Background

Since Oakdale became a city in 1974, the City’s population has nearly tripled. Throughout that time, City services have continued to evolve, responding to the needs of our growing city. Oakdale’s population is expected to grow by an additional 20 percent to reach up to 35,000 upon completion of planned development. As Oakdale experiences its final growth spurt, planning is underway to position these critical public services for long-term success in our growing community.

Perhaps the largest challenge facing the Police and Public Works departments remains space constraints in their current facilities. Operational inefficiencies created by the building layouts and changes to staffing models present challenges to operating a 21st-century workforce. The need for improvements to both facilities is clear.

  • Police: Plans call for the expansion and remodel of the existing building at Hadley Ave N and 15th St N for $15 million in sales tax.
  • Public Works: Plans call for a new facility at 32nd St N and Granada Ave N for $22 million in sales tax.

Police FacilityView of current Oakdale Police building from the Northwest

The Police Department has occupied its current facility, connected to City Hall at 1584 Hadley Avenue N, since 1992. During that time, its sworn officer staff increased by 70 percent while complaint reports have increased 65 percent. Our police department needs more space to deal with the increased need for services due to a wide range of societal and caseload changes, including catalytic converter thefts and human trafficking, not envisioned when the current facility was built. Keeping Oakdale safe and offering the quality of life our residents and visitors deserve requires a modern police force operating out of modern facilities. Issues with the current Police facility include:

  • More space is needed to accommodate workstations. Currently, 24 staff members share four computer workstations.
  • No indoor parking for police vehicles. With Minnesota’s cold winters and hot summers, many of our squad cars stay running to protect sensitive computer equipment inside. This cuts the useful life of the vehicle down by up to 50 percent, while also burning a lot of gasoline.
  • Space constraints require different types of police equipment to be stored throughout the facility, which wastes valuable time at the beginning and end of each shift.
  • Records and evidence are stored in four separate locations, only two of which are in the current police station. Additional records storage is located off-site.
  • Locker rooms where officers store equipment is at maximum capacity. Equipment lockers are often shared as there is no space to add additional lockers.

Public Works FacilityView of current Oakdale Public Works building entrance from South

The Public Works Department, located north of City Hall at 1900 Hadley Avenue N, has occupied its current facility for 37 years. Since 1985, Oakdale has added 27 miles of streets, created eight new parks, and increased staffing levels 65 percent to handle it all. Perhaps the facility’s stiffest challenge is its close proximity to a wetland. Surrounded by a wetland on three sides, the Public Works site lacks any ability to expand or evolve to meet Oakdale’s needs. Issues with the current Public Works facility include:

  • Heating and ventilation systems have reached their useful life, causing air quality concerns.
  • City equipment being exposed to weather outside year-round due to insufficient storage space. Constant exposure to the elements significantly shortens the useful life of the equipment.
  • The men’s locker room is on the second floor (no elevator), which is not ADA-compliant. The women’s locker room has space for four lockers and lacks gender equity.
  • Due to a lack of storage, vehicle parts are stored on the second floor. With no elevator, mechanics carry parts, which are often bulky and heavy, up and down stairs, causing safety concerns.

Funding Considerations

  • The City Council considered several options including property taxes and concluded it was fairest to have everyone who benefitted from the services provided by the Police and Public Works departments pay their part for those services. 
  • Without a sales tax, 100 percent of the burden falls on Oakdale property owners through property taxes.
  • With a sales tax, the burden is shared by residents and non-residents.

Future Facility Renderings

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Ballot Questions

Below voters will find the language as it will appear on the November 8 ballot for each of the two questions regarding the local option sales tax. 

  1. Ballot Question 1
  2. Ballot Question 2

Question 1: Considering Sales Tax for Construction of New Public Works Facility

Shall the City of Oakdale be authorized to impose a temporary sales and use tax to finance all or a portion of the cost of constructing a new Public Works Facility, in an amount equal to one-half of one percent (0.5%) for a period of twenty-five (25) years or until $22,000,000 plus the costs of collecting and administering the tax and the costs of issuing any bonds including interest is collected, provided that such tax shall terminate sooner if the City Council determines that all such costs have been paid? 

The total sales and use tax approved by voters at this election to finance this project and any other project will not exceed one-half of one percent (0.5%).

Local Option Sales Tax Open House

Join City officials and staff for an informational open house event to learn more about how the local option sales tax could impact voters. 

  • WHEN: Monday, October 3 from 5 to 7:30 PM
  • WHERE: Oakdale City Hall, 1584 Hadley Avenue North
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