ARDEN HILLS, Minn. (WCCO) — There was mixed reaction Wednesday after the Ramsey County Charter Commission denied voters a referendum on a half-cent sales tax increase to pay for new Minnesota Vikings stadium.
Some in Arden Hills want the stadium built at the abandoned Army Ammunitions plant, but do not like being denied a vote on paying for it with sales tax.
“I definitely think raising taxes should be up to voters,” said Ramsey County resident Tina Kivi. “Truthfully, I live in this area, so I’m all for the stadium.”
“I don’t think that’s fair,” said Darlene Wiley. “I think we definitely need to vote on it.”
In 2006, Hennepin County officials came under fire when they used sales tax to help build Target Field without a referendum.
“I think it was a very good idea to not put it to a vote,” said Ramsey County resident Steven Bursaw. “They should keep it much like the Twins Stadium.”
The Associated Press reports the Vikings wanted the referendum denied.
Team vice president Lester Bagley blasted the referendum proposal on Tuesday in a letter to the Charter Commission chairman. He said a countywide vote for November 2012 would push stadium construction to 2013 and inflate current costs by at least $110 million.
On Tuesday night, those against the referendum and those for it let the commission know exactly how they felt.
“Please put this to a vote. It’s the law,” said a woman for the referendum on Tuesday night.
“This is a godsend, if you ever want to get that site cleaned up. This is the best thing that’s ever come to Ramsey County,” said a man against the referendum on Tuesday night.
“I think it’s a smart thing to build the Vikings stadium at that location,” said Mike McReynolds. “It’s the perfect use for an area that needs to be redeveloped.”
In the end, six Ramsey County Charter commissioners supported the referendum, but 10 did not.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports