Assistant Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement
The University of Minnesota Rochester is a young institution of only five years, but it has been a dream of this community for decades. Shortly after UMR was designated as a University of Minnesota coordinate campus, the Rochester City Council voted to support institutional growth designating a portion of the proceeds for higher education from the half-cent city sales tax to UMR. In total, the community has invested $11.3 million dollars in our University Square and 318 Commons facilities. This investment has been pivotal in UMR's growth and is a great investment in the community, and southeastern Minnesota overall.
As of January 2013, all of the funds generated by the current sales tax will have been raised and distributed according to plan. On November 6th, the citizens of Rochester have an opportunity to vote to reauthorize (continue) the existing tax and continue to invest in the future of this community and region. The reauthorization of this tax will provide $139.5 million in capital investments to position this community for increased growth and service to our citizens.
UMR is included in the list of capital development projects that will be supported if the sales tax is reauthorized. A total of $14 million will be allocated to UMR for use in the development of a permanent, signature academic building on our future campus site and will assist with the development of more private/public partnerships to support UMR's growth. The 318 Commons project is an example of a private/public partnership supporting UMR development.
There are many ways to participate in the effort to reauthorize the city sales tax. Primary among them is to be educated on the issue and vote. More information about the sales tax past, present and future are available on the web at Common Sense Rochester or on Facebook.
If you are a resident of Rochester, you have the right to vote on this issue. If you support continuing the current tax to foster future investments in this community and plan to vote yes, there are many ways to be involved. "Like" the Facebook page and talk about your plan to vote yes for the reauthorization with your friends and family. Put up a yard sign to let your neighbors know you support this reauthorization. If you would like a yard sign you can make a request online here, or through Facebook.
The city sales tax will have many impacts on Rochester and the surrounding communities. If you would like to hear more about the impact of the sales tax I will be hosting a couple of general information presentations. The next session is scheduled for 4 PM on October 3 on the UMR Campus in University Square, Room 414. These sessions are open to faculty, students, staff, and all UMR community members.
UMR has great plans to serve our students, the industries we focus on, and our community. Reauthorizing the sales tax is an important step to fueling our continued growth.