Vikings Stadium Plan Is Not a Good Deal for Minnesotans

Posted on April 24th, 2012 by

The proposed Vikings stadium has come back from the brink thanks to a timely visit by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The proposal has now made it through committees in both the House and Senate and will come up for floor votes. There is a realistic chance that the bill will pass, which is bad news for anyone who cares for our state’s finances or responsible government. The state’s $427 billion contribution to the $975 billion project is to be funded with proceeds from electronic pulltabs, with the state’s general fund being untouched. This is considered a selling point, but it is a meaningless distinction. Funds from gambling or any other source not directly linked to the operation of the stadium could have been used for another purpose, either to fund other public services, such as roads or schools, or to reduce the burden of taxes in other areas, such as income or property tax relief. Since there is a limit to how much revenue can be generated by taxation, any public spending on a stadium has an opportunity cost, regardless of where the revenue was generated.

More importantly, this plan essentially intends to fund the Vikings stadium with a tax on charities. If electronic pulltabs are such a good thing for local charities, why not let them keep all of the proceeds instead of siphoning a portion off the top to give to Zygi Wilf? The description of this plan as the Vikings stadium helping Minnesota charities is simply wrong. Our political leaders should know better, and maybe they do.



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