Friday, February 23, 2007

Trail Center Quits GTA Over Tax Increase Proposal

Sarah and Anna Hamilton, owners of Trail Center informed the Gunflint Trail Association (GTA) that the new proposed Cook County restaurant, recreation and lodging sales taxes would directly impact their customers. Yet the GTA Board of Directors which is supporting these new taxes, never bothered to contact Trail Center concerning this issue.

Yesterday, in an email to Shari Baker, Association President, the Hamiltons wrote, "Because of the recent actions and decisions made by the GTA board. We at Trail Center will no longer be a part of the GTA. If what you do as a board is going to affect our business, we believe as members we should have a say. Or the courtesy of a phone call or e-mail. We will not be a part of something so big we are insignificant in choices being made that directly affect us.

Sarah Hamilton along with many others in the county contend that the new taxes, particularly the restaurant tax, will just place an additional finance burden on many already "cash strapped" locals. According to Sarah, she contacted all the other restaurant in the Grand Marais area and she found only one that had even hear of this new sales tax. Sarah, when on to question why no one even bothered to ask the restaurant owners what the they thought of this new tax, that if approved, they will have to collect.

Sarah went on to say, "We are against another local tax and we are outraged that a small group of powerful people have decided they speak for us. "

The new tax was presented to the Cook County Board on February 20 by a group of business people calling itself the Cook County Economic Analysis Council.

The Cook Country Board is schedule to make a final decision on the sales tax proposal at its' February 27 meeting. The proposal then must be approved by the State Legislature and signed by the Governor before it becomes law. It is unclear at this time if a referendum will be required in the County on this sale tax proposal.


At 8:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I contacted 17 restaurant bars in grand marais. I was not able to contact All restaurant bars.

At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted Young is on the Gunflint Trail Association Board of Directors and voted "yes" for the tax. "Quit" and "Quite" are not the same words and Shari Baker with an "r" is the President.

At 9:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spoke with a number of people on the board that voted yes. They were quick to tell me they were unclear of the complete contents of what they were signing stating that the information was long, confusing and pushed through with what they thought as an apparent Ok behind it.
Associations are suppose to be for the good of all members, not just a select few. Especially when it affects an entire County.
Sorry if I misspelled some words.

At 10:37 PM, Blogger PeterPatnter said...

It wasn't right to fail to invite opinions of the people who have a local business; it is important to LISTEN to those people fully and fairly. On the other hand, they don't seem to realize that most customers who come into their establishment could care less about a few percent tax on their bills -- and in fact hardly look at the bills at all! Most probably the tax benefits all the businesses in their area, and THEY shoul LISTEN to the reasons for the tax.

At 9:23 AM, Blogger PeterPatnter said...

P.S.: My comment just above should be shown as dated November 28, 2007. I'm writing this on the 29th. -p.


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