NASAA Notes: March 2009


March issue
Back to all issues
March 9, 2009

Minnesota: Clean Water, Wildlife, Cultural Heritage and Natural Areas Amendment

In the November 2008 election, the citizens of Minnesota voted to approve a constitutional amendment that dedicates sales tax revenue to the state’s natural resources and the arts. The amendment raises the sales tax 3/8ths of 1% starting on July 1, 2009. This is estimated to raise approximately $270-$300 million per year, depending on consumer spending, until the year 2034. The revenue generated from the sales tax increase will be allocated into four funds intended to supplement traditional funding sources from the state’s general appropriation. The four funds are the Outdoor Heritage Fund (stipulated to receive 33% of revenues), the Clean Water Fund (33% of revenues), Parks and Trails Fund (14.25% of revenues), and the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (19.75% of revenues). The Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund must be used for the arts, arts education and arts access and to preserve Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage. The Minnesota State Legislature must now determine how to allocate the funds that will be generated. The Minnesota State Arts Board hopes to receive a significant portion of the new funding. Planning for this initiative took many years as well as an extensive citizen education and advertising campaign, in which the arts invested about $4 million. Advocacy collaboration between the environmental and cultural communities and strong leadership from influential state legislators were all pivotal to the ultimate passage of the referendum. For further information, contact Minnesota State Arts Board Executive Director Sue Gens.