Republicans: Vikings Should Only Get Loan For New Stadium
Well, this should go over like a fart in church. If a pro sports team is of no benefit to the state, then all the businesses and people that benefit from having a professional franchise should not have to pay taxes. Perhaps then these pantloads would see just how big of a benefit such franchises are to the state.
Saying that they had the only Minnesota Vikings stadium plan that could pass the Legislature, three Republican senators offered a plan Thursday that would limit any direct public subsidy to the team to a $300 million loan.
The proposal -- which the Vikings and Gov. Mark Dayton quickly dismissed -- took the stadium debate at the state Capitol in an entirely different direction: Arguing that the team should only be offered minimal assistance and nothing beyond what other businesses could expect.
The three senators, led by Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, said that the state should not be involved in whether the stadium had “gold-plated tile” and needed to cost $1 billion.
The Legislature “shouldn’t have an interest in whether they build a stadium with a roof or astro-turf, or how many suites they have, or whether it’s in Ramsey County,” said Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, a co-author of the proposal. “Those are things that the business itself ought to work out with local communities who have interest in hosting that site.”
But the plan had one new caveat: The proposal also called for a phase out beginning in 2014 of the statewide business property tax.
Chamberlain however denied that his support for any stadium plan was tied to the elimination of the statewide business property tax. “It’s not a price of a vote – that is spinning things out of control,” Chamberlain said in responding to a reporter’s question at a Thursday press conference. “Does it have to be in the bill? We would like to see it there.”
The senators suggested that eliminating the tax could be an incentive for businesses to financially partner with the Vikings on a new stadium.
Dayton, who wants the state more involved financially in a Vikings stadium, almost immediately criticized the Republicans' proposal, saying eliminating the statewide business property tax would almost certainly mean higher taxes for most other Minnesotans.
"If they now eliminated all the property taxes that businesses pay, everyone else's property taxes would inevitably increase," the governor said in a statement.