Commissioners Want Referendum On Stadium Tax

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Ramsey County Charter Commission is on record opposing any attempt to circumvent the referendum process and legislatively impose a countywide 0.5 percent sales tax to raise money for a new Minnesota Vikings Stadium in Arden Hills.

The commission also acknowledged Wednesday night that it has no direct power to direct state legislation. Commissioners are concerned a tax would be imposed without taxpayer input through a ballot referendum. A resolution authored by Rod Halvorson, and passed 10-3, says the commission “would oppose any effort to circumvent the referendum process.” Halvorson referred to a plan approved by the Legislature and then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty which allowed Hennepin County commissioners to vote on a tax for the Minnesota Twins new stadium without putting the issue on the ballot.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press says commissioners also passed a resolution that states the commission would exceed its authority in any attempt to direct state legislation.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Yes

    Referendum , Yes!

  • YES!

    Fantastic! Finally! A display of common sense by politicians. What a welcome change from having something like this stuffed down our throats. It’s too bad this is unenforceable but maybe it will give incentive for the legislators to do the right thing.

    Personally, I oppose public money for sports stadiums but if it passed on a statewide referendum I would support the decision of the majority.

    • stace34

      It would not be a statewide referendum, it would be a Ramsey County referendum since that is where the tax would increase. I think it is a good idea. Not every city in the county would benefit from the stadium, biut every city would be affected by the tax increase.

  • Go Vikes


    However, I support using public money to fund the Vikings Stadium. But if a COUNTY wide referendum ( I dont think the whole state should vote on a measure that only affects Ramsey County) failed…..i would respect the decision of the majority.

  • jan

    I am against public funding for pro sports but could reluctantly support a stadium if a majority voted for it. I’d just buy taxable goods in Hennepin or Dakota counties as would most people.

    • Get Real

      Dont be naive Jan. You honsetly think people are going to drive to Mpls or Eagan for a product in order to save a couple cents!!!! Its only a 0.5% increase!!!

      A $200 item would only cost $1 dollar more if it passes. Are you really that cheap and stupid you would waste more on gas to drive further to purchase the same item….all in a vein attempt to save a buck? PATHETIC!!!

      I hope you really dont think “most people” would be as ignorant and short sited as you there Jan…..what a joke!!!

    • Really Jan?

      No they wouldnt Jan.

      “most people” would not be as dumb or cheap as you. Say for instance you wanted to purchase a good/service for $200….this proposed tax increase would cost you a ONE buck. Are you telling us you would spend at least $3.78 on a gallon of gas to drive out of the county in order to try and save a buck??

      Good for you if you are that stupid….but dont throw “most people” is the same stupid bucket as you.

      • Jim

        Calling Jan stupid because she doesn’t want to contribute even one dollar to a billionaire’s sports stadium is obnoxious. Go ahead and give the Wilf family some of your hard-earned money if you’d like. In my opinion, subsidizing a billionaire, even if it’s just a few pennies, is the definition of stupid.

        • Really Jim?

          You have stupid definition of stupid JIm

          Life is all about cost vs benefits. You can take your nonsense ideals, founded on your asinine prinicpals and go fly a kite. Any moron who wants to spend MORE money to save even LESS money is STUPID…PERIOD.

          I dont care if my dollar goes to the devil himself….i will spend that dollar today if it will save me two dollars tomorrow.

          Sounds like sound economic adive to me there JIm. Where as your advice sounds like a good equation for going broke…but hey, try and eat your asinine principals you are so obnoxiously proud of.

          • Jim

            “You have stupid definition of stupid JIm” LOL. Well stated.

            “I dont care if my dollar goes to the devil himself….i will spend that dollar today if it will save me two dollars tomorrow.” This is why I don’t vote for Republicans. The almighty dollar above all else. Stupid.

        • Hey Jim

          He didnt call her stupid because she doesnt want to contribute the a billionaires stadium Jim. In fact, where did you get that from?

          He pretty plainly is calling her stupid because she states she would waste more money leaving the county to purchase her goods, than it would cost her to just stay in the county and pay the extra tax.

          And I have to say, he has a point JIm. Maybe he shouldnt have called names, but her actions dont make sense, and your defense of the nonsense actions are even more baffeling.

          Plus you forget the fact that the stadium will be owned by the county, not Ziggy Wilf. There will be other events from other groups at the facity year round.

          I think if you can check your ego at the door, you can see that your statement and defense of Jan, really doesnt make sense. Your assertions are based on principals absent of logic or reason.

          • Jim

            Sometimes people are willing to spend a bit more because of principle. She wants to spend some extra money to avoid contributing to a new Vikings stadium. That’s not dumb, that’s her prerogative.

            My ego? What in the world does my ego have to do with anything? It seems that people just can’t make a post without taking a personal shot.

  • JB

    So, back on point. I disagree with a referendum. Why did we vote these “politicians” into office? They are ther eto make decisions, hard decisions. I will not speak to support or where I live, only that this is shucking responsibility for what we sent them to the capital for.

  • BeenThereDoneThat

    Vikings games have been sold out almost every game since they arrived in MN. Losing them would make a big difference on the quality of life MN offers. We have a higher then average state income tax, so for people to want to relocate here we have to offer life value accrutrements..these being arts, good schools and yes professional sports. With our less than wonderful weather…we need to be able to compete with other states. A raise in sales taxes is the way to go.

    • Sold out my BIG toe!!!

      Seriously SOLD OUT?? Are you kidding me??? That’s why the local Fox has to buy up all the tickets 1 day before game or it will be blacked out on TV. I mean come on if you are going to make a statement then at least get the facts straight that the games have to be bought out just so people can watch it on TV. There seems to be a lot of empty seats and now that they are much older of a team it will only get worse from here. Now you want to talk about sold out, look at the Packers now that is sold out. :) Just ruffling some feathers Vike fans it is all in good fun. I think they should build the stadium it will bring money to the area.

  • What the heck..

    Obviously, emotions are high on this subject. I love football, but do not want to pay for that stadium everytime I was to buy something in Ramsey County. It makes no difference if it is .5 percent. I have the option of going to any other county to buy my big ticket items. If I was a business owner, selling retail, in Ramsey County, I think I would be very upset. True, a restaurant owner, or a bar near the stadium will not have a problem. Let the owners buy the land, and build as big of a stadium as they want…..just do not ask me to pay for it. This is no time for needless spending of our tax dollars, when there is so much need.

    • gtV

      Doesn’t anyone realize that in the end, if a new facility is built, it will belong to the people of Ramsey County and the state? Vikings football is only part of the overall picture to the ammo plant site’s development. Look at the increased tax revenues coming into county and state coffers; Look at the public interest or attraction that can result, and look at the national notice such development can garner.

      It’s time for the vitriolic diatribes, inane bickering, incessant complaining, and stupid political posturing to Stop/Cease. Build the new venue complex and start making money off it for the common good and common citizenry. Otherwise, this county and state will fall into the ignominious omnipresent abyss of “if only” or “why couldn’t we built this” hopelessness of no future visions or cultural demise.

      Stop complaining! Build it! We will come!

      • Jason

        I will not come. How much is it going to cost to see a game. How much for 4 ticket? A weeks pay? Who is this really benefiting? You can bet there will be plenty of box seats, many more than the dome.

  • Go away Wilf!

    Just go away. Please go away.

  • Alex V

    The choice of whether or not to spend public money on a stadium is a false one. If we don’t build a stadium now, the vikings will leave and we will be stuck spending money to try to attract an expansion team in 10 years. It’s the North Stars and Wild all over again. The choice isn’t whether or not to spend money, it’s either spending $1 billion now or $2 billion in 10 years.

    • Jason

      I guess if you put it that way. A stadium isnt life or death, its a game. THEY NEED US MORE THAN WE NEED THEM. Also I call thier bluff. LEAVE.

  • lol

    No Public money for a stadium!!!!!!!! I think letting the people of Ramsy county vote is a good idea–goverment will not let that happen though, because they already know what the outcome will be.NO NO NO.
    Jan i don’t think your comment was dumb–I do the same thing, It’s my money and i will spend it how i like-where i like–I could care less about the cost of gas or saving a buck. It’s the principle of it all.

    GO PACK GO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • And that's what I have to say about that.


    Wilf and his players have a whole lot more money than I do and I’m not begging them to pay my bills so why do they think I should be paying theirs?

    – MN Taxpayer

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