St. Paul Opposes Tax To Help Pay For Vikings Stadium

ST. PAUL, Minn (WCCO) — If the Minnesota Vikings get a new stadium once the state’s budget deficit gets fixed, it wouldn’t be ready until 2015.

So it’s expected the Vikings would play at the Metrodome until then. But the team’s hope for a new stadium in Ramsey County hit a snag on Wednesday when the St. Paul City Council voted to oppose a half-cent sales tax proposed by the county.

That tax would help raise at least $350 million to build a new stadium in Arden Hills at the site of the former Twin Cities Army Ammunitions Plant.

But the city of St. Paul said it’s unfair for its residents. The vote was unanimous, and it was mainly a protest vote because the city council doesn’t have any legal say on whether the sales tax is passed.

City council members said they wanted everyone to know they think the tax hike is a bad idea that’s bad for St. Paul. It was a 7-0 vote, with the city council president ridiculing the proposal.

“Maybe they are going to change it to the Arden Hills Vikings, it makes absolutely no sense, I don’t think it’s ever going to catch on. It’s never going to catch on it doesn’t make sense for our residents,” said Kathy Lantry.

It’s the Ramsey County Commission that is pushing for the tax hike to raise $350 million. That would be the public portion of the estimated $800 million to $1 billion stadium proposal that would be built on the Arden Hills site.

City council members said St. Paul’s residents would end up paying almost half of the $350 million amount and get little benefit.

“I don’t think the case has been made that the half cent sale tax to build something way, way, way, away from St. Paul is valuable for a city that would be paying 40 to 45 percent of that sales tax,” said Council Member David Thune.

A few Vikings supporters were on hand for the vote and expressed their frustration at the meeting.

“This is all posturing, this is passing the buck in my mind. No one wants to step up and lead and say I have a solution to this problem and that is what we need from our leaders,” said Ty Glocke, a Vikings’ fan.

But even they acknowledged a sales tax hike in the midst of a government shutdown and a tough economy is a tough sell.

“It’s unfortunate there are going to be some returns to the city of St. Paul. A lot of the people who would come to the stadium would stay in the city of St. Paul,” said Cory Merrifield with

No one from the Vikings was on hand and they have not yet commented on the vote. Publicly, the Vikings are continuing to express optimism that some kind of deal can be reached, but with the state in shutdown mode, things are not moving very fast and everyone agrees the timing could not be worse.

More from Esme Murphy
  • the crux of the buscuit

    Around 148,000,000 is alot for the almost nothing St. Paul will make on the deal. Why don’t they give that great deal to Edina or Eden Prarie? I mean, it is such a good investment for their communitees and everything. St. Paul won’t be played for suckers…….

  • tom

    when all the smoke settles, it will be on the dome site in good ol downtown mpls. The vikes will play several seasons in the U stadium until new stadium is built

  • Praise to the council members

    How refreshing that for once there are politicians who are willing to say “no” to Wilf’s never-ending pleas for new taxes to pay for his new playground! THANK YOU St. Paul City Council members. Even though they don’t have the power to prevent it, at least they have the gonads to publicly state their opposition to it.

    If owning a stadium is such a great deal, please allow Wilf to enjoy it without forcing MN taxpayers to share the riches and joy.

    Pay your own way, Zygi! Just like we have to.

  • Back to the editing and deletions, eh?

    I see WCCO is already deleting any posts that are contrary to the news they wish to report.

    So much for freedom of speech … at least at WCCO.

  • Alfred

    It was four Hennepin County commissioner’s that denied the citizens their right to vote on a referendum and then raised their taxes for the benefit of the billionaire Pohlads.

    These people are sick. They have no morals.

    The Vikings can:
    -Play at the Dome.
    -Play at the University stadium.
    -Zygi can buy his own stadium (it’s HIS team).
    -They can move.
    -They can bribe and coerce the corrupt and stupid people we have in St. Paul.

  • Frank Garrett

    The poor poor spenders don’t get to spend these taxes. So they will just hop on their $1billion light rail train and go home.

  • clink

    they can rot before I give a dime to them

  • mettahu

    Let the Vikings fans pay the sales tax if they think they need a new stadium. Or let everyone who actually uses the new stadium pay for it, the same way tolls are collected on toll roads to pay for the roads. That’s fair. Just don’t make ME pay for it. I don’t watch football and I will never go to the stadium.

    • Skol

      They have to figure this out. We’re in a recession–probably on the skid track to a depression. I hold season tix. I can and will pay more. But, the state has to speak for their dole for the Twins palace–which I wish would just go away (sorry Twins fans). And answer to that 6 million they benefit from the Vikings on an annual basis.

  • Jason

    Guess what, Minnesota opposes a tax increase for the vikings stadium, What planet are these people living on. Story after story seems to be outside of the mainstream.

  • Middle of the road

    So higher taxes are a bad thing? Oddly enough we had this same conversation several years ago in Hennepin county. Oddly enough the county board supported higher taxes and now we have the twins stadium. So just because this is not in downtown St. Paul it is bad? Or is it not a regional thing as we were told in Hennepin county and it really is a local thing? Please Ramsey County, Hennepin County, Minneapolis, and St, Paul, enlighten us all….

    • The St Paul council members are right

      Yes, dufus, higher taxes are a bad thing. Spending needs to be controlled; the answer is not to spend wildly then try to find something new to tax or to increase taxes that already exist.

      Alfred’s options are sensible. Pick one Zygi and leave the rest of us out of it.

      As someone said on here before, Zygi isn’t bashful, he’ll try to get your wallet while you’re conducting business in the men’s room.

  • willie

    were is my comment!!!!!!!!?

  • willie

    no welfare!…like that would happen!!!you’ll all be cryin about that! spend money that makes money …real simple!

  • Footballs better than Hockey

    OH now the city wants to put their foot down, how bout when they wanted the Xcel center for a stupid hockey team? I remember them raising it up from 6.5 % to 7% & then it raised again? whats happened to all that 1% tax increase?

  • Asa Misner

    Thank you for taking the time to discuss this, I really feel can uncover any data in write-up and discus forum

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