Legislators, charitable gaming operators reach potential deal for Vikings stadium bill

Andrew Krammer

The Minnesota House of Representatives and charitable gaming interests may have come to agreement over the weekend to provide more tax relief for charities – possibly removing a substantial roadblock for the Vikings stadium bill at the Capitol.

A standalone bill on tax relief for charities is scheduled for a hearing in the House Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee at 6 p.m. on Monday.

In the proposed stadium bill, the state’s $398 million contribution to the nearly $1 billion project comes from tax revenue from authorized electronic versions of pulltab and bingo games.

Under the new bill, charities would receive $36 million in tax relief through a switch from a tax on gross receipts to a tax on the net.

The bill also proposes four additional revenue sources that would kick in, if charitable gambling falls short, to aid the state’s contribution: a tax on Vikings luxury boxes, a sports-themed lottery game, excess revenue from Hennepin County taxes and a Vikings admissions tax.

There are many concerns surrounding the proposed bill: as the Pioneer Press has reported the Vikings are against two of the four additional revenue sources and Minnesota Public Radio reported Gov. Mark Dayton said the sports-themed tipboards, or a form of lottery connected to sports scores, can’t be approved by the state.

At a news conference Monday morning, Dayton said tipboards are illegal and opposed by the NFL, MPR reported.

Dayton also had a problem with not being included in the initial negotiating between legislators and charitable gaming operators, according to MPR.