Only two of Wright County’s 29 parks are open to equestrian use. A motion passed on a 3-2 vote Sept. 23 will close one of those, Stanley Eddy park, to horses. The two commissioners who voted against the change said this is unfair, and pointed out that horse owners are taxpayers too, and should have more access to county parks. What do you think?
To read the full story about Wright County board this week, click here.
The Wright County Board heard a report from Katie Zintek of the U of M Extension Service this morning indicating that the 4-H program in Wright County is going strong.
Zirtek said Wright County 4-H enrollment reached 531 members in the 2006-2007 program year, an increase of 5 percent over the previous year. Zirtek said both the total membership and the number of new members have grown over the past three years, and she attributes this to factors including state support, the level of volunteer committment, and the variety of programs offered in the 22 4-H clubs throughout the county. Board Chair Jack Russek said he was impressed by the growth of the program, particularly in view of competition from youth sports, which can require a significant committment of time by participants.
The Des Moines Register reported that the Iowa Department of Revenue has hit upon a new way to squeeze money out of taxpayers.
Apparently, these dedicated public servants discovered that some people are buying pumpkins not to eat, but to use as decorations.
This shocking revelation set them to thinking. Pumpkins, as a food item, were not subject to state sales tax. On the other hand, if they are used as a decoration, rather than as an edible squash, they must be taxable. The department adopted a new policy and began taxing pumpkins if they are advertised for use as jack-o’-lanterns or decorations.
If an Iowan wishes to eat a pumkin, as in a pumpkin pie or other seasonal treat, he can avoid paying sales tax â€“ if he fills out an Iowa Sales Tax Exemption Certificate form. Pumpkins purchased with food stamps are also exempt from the tax.
I have not checked Minnesota tax law pertaining to this issue, but this state never misses an opportunity to raise a tax, so if Minnesota is not already taxing pumpkin sales, the Minnesota Department of Revenue will not doubt leap on the bandwagon as soon as it gets wind of the Iowa decision.
There are millions of people in this country who pay no tax at all. There are loopholes in the tax code big enough to drive a bus through which allow corporations to avoid certain taxes. But, apparently, at least in Iowa, tax officials have nothing better to do than burden growers and retailers by forcing them to detemine if consumers plan to eat a pumpkin or carve a face on it and set it on their porch.
There has been no report indicating whether or not pumpkin owners will be eligible for a tax refund when vandals steal their pumpkins and smash them in the street.
The folks in Boston had a party to protest tariffs on tea. Maybe the good people of Des Moines will be staging a pumpkin party some day soon.
On a split vote, the Wright County Board approved a plan that will allow most of the 10,000 pieces of evidence that are collected annually to be sold online via PropertyRoom.com.
Currently, the county disposes of the items at auctions that take place three times each year. Supporters of the new plan say that the current system lacks control, limits tracking ability and profitability, and requires staff to handle items multiple times.
Supporters say the new system will reduce handling, improve tracking ability, and will increase profits by expanding the pool of potential bidders.
The change was approved an a 4-1 vote, with Commissioners Elmer Eichelberg, Karla Heeter, Jack Russek, and Pat Sawatzke in favor, and Commissioner Dick Mattson opposed.
Mattson expressed concern that the county might lose revenue, and said he is satisfied with the existing system.
Read the full story in the Nov. 26 issue of the Enterprise Dispatch.
Wright County Commissioner Karla Heeter has released a new book of quotes, observations, and thoughts on life titled “If You Think You Can.” In addition to being a county commissioner, Heeter is a nationally recognized motivational speaker and a cancer survivor. The book provides some positive suggestions about how we can improve our lives and have some fun along the way.
Read reaction to the book in the Curmudgeon’s Corner in the November 26 issue of the Enterprise Dispatch.
The Wright County Board awarded $52,235 in general obligation jail bonds for the jail/law enforcement center Tuesday.
The county will receive the funds in early December, and, until the money is drawn down for the jail project, it will be invested in local financial institutions. All of the bond proceeds will stay in Minnesota, and most will remain in Wright County.
Wright County Auditor/Treasurer Bob Hiivala commended the local banks.
â€œThey really were aggressive. They gave us a higher rate than we could get nationally,â€ Hiivala said.
He added that the cooperation of the local banks allowed him to put together a partnership that will benefit the banks, the county, and the citizens of Wright County.
Until it is needed, money from the bond proceeds will be invested at Kline Bank of Buffalo, Premiere Bank of Monticello, Highland Bank of Minneapolis, Security State Bank of Howard Lake, and Bank West of Buffalo.