Ready, set, hike taxes

A small tax for the new Vikings stadium would pay large dividends.

by Daily Editorial Board

Two Republicans in the state House are keeping hope alive for a new Vikings stadium. They plan to introduce a bill later this week that would allow the host county of a new stadium to establish a half-cent sales tax to help fund the project without holding a referendum.
Generally among Minnesotans, a new stadium is a welcomed proposal. Lawmakers are right to introduce this bill since it ultimately accelerates the process.
This technique has proven effective before. Target Field was funded from tax revenue that Hennepin County imposed without voter consent.
The stateâÄôs mammoth $5 billion budget shortfall has proven a nearly insurmountable hurdle in the search for state funding for this project. This small sales tax could help generate considerable revenue.
And the bill doesnâÄôt just burden taxpayers. The Vikings will chip in $1 for every $2 paid by state and local taxpayers, creating yet another revenue source for the construction of the new stadium.
Forgoing a public vote also translates into promptly creating more jobs. The estimated $800 million cost of the stadium would put many Minnesotans back to work.
The bill has a chance at becoming reality. Gov. Mark Dayton, a longtime supporter of building the Vikings a new home, has set parameters saying that any stadium cannot take from the stateâÄôs general fund and must require a sizable contribution from the Vikings. Check and check.
This is an excellent plan and would be a real deal maker. Foregoing a referendum may seem unreasonable to some, but in due time, it will prove to have great benefits for our state.