Voters Approve Sales Tax to Improve Parks

Park repairs and improvement projects will roll out as soon as funds are available.

Saint Paul voters passed a 1% sales tax increase to generate funds to improve city infrastructure for parks and recreation, roads and bridges. The measure passed 60% to 40%, with almost 29,000 people voting for it. Over the 20 years of the tax increase, approximately $249M will be dedicated to deferred maintenance at parks and rec facilities and new projects like the River Balcony and the River Learning Center at Crosby Park.

Over the years, more than $100M in deferred maintenance projects have piled up in our parks and rec centers. These projects range from fields, courts and splash pads. Chestnut Plaza fountain to asphalt repairs across the system.

Given the time line for getting new road projects shovel ready, the community will likely see park improvements get underway first. The Conservancy is working with park leaders to identify projects that can and should still attract private dollars to match public investment while fast-tracking improvements in the city’s greatest areas of need.