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University of Minnesota Extension

Local option sales tax analysis for Isanti County

Key findings

  • Cambridge is a regional hub for retail purchases. A cluster of high traffic stores along Highways 95 and 65 attract regional residents to shop in the community.
  • The county has few seasonal residents or pass-through visitors (for example, people driving to cabins on northern lakes), so they are not a measurable segment of customers. Instead, retail and service spending is driven by local residents, nearby regional residents, and area employees.
  • Because of its location, some residents of Isanti County commute to the Twin Cities metro for work. This traffic pattern will likely cause a loss of some retail and service sales within the community. More than 5,000 people enter the county to work, but 13,500 leave to work primarily to the south in the Twin Cities metro area.

About this report

University of Minnesota Extension conducted a study to estimate overall tax proceeds and the proportion of tax proceeds generated by Isanti County residents. These results were compared to non-residents, using the most recent sales and use tax data available from the Minnesota Department of Revenue (MN Revenue).

The purpose of this report was not to make recommendations to county officials about what actions to take but rather to determine the estimated sales tax proceeds from a local option tax program and what proportion of those dollars will likely be paid by year-round county residents versus non-residents.

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Authors: Ryan Pesch, Extension educator; Liz Templin, former Extension educator

Reviewed in 2020

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