Minn. House Takes On Vikings Proposal In Hearing

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican leaders in the state House helped retool a Vikings stadium bill that’s headed for its first committee vote Monday, a new signal of support for a proposal that’s struggled to gain momentum at the Capitol.

But Gov. Mark Dayton, a strong stadium supporter, said his own negotiators were left out of the weekend talks that brought together the latest version of a proposal to pay for a stadium with tax revenue from an expansion of gambling. Dayton also criticized a new feature in the bill, the authorization of sports-themed betting “tip boards” he said are illegal under federal law.

Even so, Dayton said he was glad to see the bill moving in the House, where the Commerce Committee was set to hold a Monday night hearing on the proposal for a public-private partnership on a $975 million football stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

The bill is newly backed by the organization that represents Minnesota charities with gambling operations, whose tax proceeds are proposed to cover the state’s $398 million share. The proposal also now includes several backup plans in case the new gambling offerings don’t generate enough tax revenue in a given year to pay off stadium bonds.

Opposition from charities, and concern about the stability of gambling money, had hung up the bill in the House in recent weeks. Rep. Morrie Lanning, the stadium bill’s House author, said key House Republicans and members of Speaker Kurt Zellers’ staff were involved in weekend negotiations to resolve those issues.

Zellers’ previously lukewarm response to the stadium push had been seen to hurt its chances at the Capitol, and had raised concerns among stadium supporters that the issue would not be resolved when legislators adjourn for the year — probably by the end of the month.

The Vikings have been trying for more than a decade to line up partial public funding to replace the Metrodome. The team and its legislative allies have struggled to build support and surmount a series of obstacles, most recently opposition from charitable gambling operators. Under the current proposal, those operators would be authorized to upgrade to electronic versions of their current pull-tab and bingo games as well as add the tip board games.

The state forecasts that would raise about $72 million in new tax revenue per year, with half being used to pay off stadium bonds and the other half going back to charities in the form of tax relief, and to simplify a tax system charitable operators view as overly complex and unfairly burdensome.

“We were able to agree on an approach that works for both of us,” said King Wilson, chief lobbyist for Allied Charities of Minnesota. The bill would change the way charities are taxed, shifting to a tax on net profits rather than gross receipts.

Shifting more money to charities would leave the state with less tax revenue to provide a financial cushion required by issuers of construction bonds. To that end, the latest version of the bill secures four backup funding streams in order to ensure the state treasury is not on the hook if the expanded gambling doesn’t raise as much money as predicted.

The first would be a tax on luxury boxes at the new stadium. That would be followed by a sports-themed lottery game, money from an existing Hennepin County sales tax that helps pay bonds on the Target Field, and a ticket tax at the new stadium. Those provisions are likely to stir backlash: Hennepin County Board Chairman Mike Opat has resisted financial involvement by the county in a new football stadium, and the Vikings have tried to avoid new taxes on stadium-related enterprises.

Opat said Hennepin County leaders were not consulted on the move to tap their sales tax proceeds, and said he’s against it. Lester Bagley, the Vikings’ vice president for stadium development, said the team’s owners negotiated the $427 million share the Vikings have agreed to put up and consider the proposed stadium taxes to be a violation of that agreement.

“Raising the price of our tickets through a tax would impact our relationship with the ticket buyer,” Bagley said. “And it’s basically taking revenue that would otherwise go to the team and put it elsewhere.”

Lanning predicted the House Commerce Committee would approve the stadium bill. He said it would not be possible to put together a bill that completely satisfies everyone with a stake in it.

“We feel this is the best proposal we can put forward at this point in time,” Lanning said.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Bob

    The proposal is that you take public money and give it to Piggy Wilf, a New Jersey billionaire.

    Fine Print: They are going to take the Twin’s stadium money.

    Note: Scam artists will lie to you when they are trying to take your money.

    What you should do is Google: Publicly financed stadiums.

    • 3'rd pick

      “Piggy Wilf” ha! Clever, I’ve never heard that one before.

      Googling it won’t change anything, house members are still going to look at the bill tonight.

      Note: they will likely build a stadium

      What you should do is: get over it

      • Bob

        What you should do is bend over and grease up. Apparently you like it when other people have their way with you.

    • Ryan

      Well then Bob, you offer to build it …I assume youre local anyways.

      Gambling officials will then write ya out a check…FROM GAMBLING PROCEEDS you schmuck.

      What you should do is Google: What Reading and Comprehension skills can do for an individual.

  • Susan

    Dear Vikings,

    GO AWAY! We don’t like you.

    Dear Politicians,

    An election is just around the corner. If you don’t represent your people, you WILL be voted out.

    • STP

      Who’s we?

    • Ryan

      Dear Susan,

      Theyre respresenting the people just fine. You dont like that theyre not representing YOUR INDIVIDUAL PREFERENCE.

      Thats NOT what WE voted them into office for…to cater to your wants.

      • goop

        Eh, if it was represented by the people there would be a referendum and we wouldn’t even have to have a discussion.

        • Ryan

          Ehhh, but you can also email, call or send a letter to your representative…supposedly….

          apparently not enough whiners are doing that, eh?

          C’mon, hop to it now!

          SKOL VIKES!!!!!!!!!!

        • Fran

          Exactly right, the overwhelming majority are against this travesty.

          Otherwise THEY would be demanding a referendum.

          • Ryan

            Uh, Fran…you dont count as an overwhelming majority….you count as one. And your side lost…..

            Just sayin’

            SKOL VIKES!!!!!

            • Tired of Stupid

              In other words you want a referendum. Right?

              You should be contacting your representative and demanding a referendum.

              • Ryan

                If taxes are used, only if welfare is put on the ballot as well.

                Otherwise, lets build the damn thing and be done with it with gambling revenue.

    • mis-informed

      Yea really Susan, who’s we? Just speak for yourself and not everyone else because you have no idea what everyone else feels.

      • Ryan

        Uh, Susan…you and Fran dont count as an overwhelming majority….you count as two. And your side lost…..

        Just sayin’

        SKOL VIKES!!!!!

        • Tommy Solo

          Uuuhhh I’m also on Susan and Fran’s side. The vikes are LOSERS. 50 years and NEVER won a superbowl- NOT ONE!! let them play at the “bank” for the rest of their sorry existence. Ohh can’t handle the cold??!! They are “vikings” aren’t they!!! Ziggy WILF-FARE can take his loser candy-a*$ team and their candy-a#$ fans and move to another state. I for one am ready for a new team. They wouldn’t’ be any worse than the vikes. “Just sayin'”

          • Ryan

            emmmm kaay, tommy solo….thanks for playing.

            you, Susan and Fran can go back into the sandbox and play quietly now, em kay?

            I would also highly suggest you stay out of casinos if you have such an issue with it, em kaaaaaaaay?

            nighty, night now.

    • Southsider

      Get back in the kitchen Susan.

    • Scott Funk

      Agreed. I don’t like the fact that public money will be used to fund a private business, at all. I am gonna vote against a lot of the people currently in office come November, and will be voting almost purely Democrat because of the constant stunts the GOP has been pulling lately. Yes I know the Gov is a Democrat, but he’s also the only one who stood up to the Repubs when they decided to cut everything and spare the rich from forking over their share in taxes.

      • Ryan

        Well Scott, you’ll be tickled pink when you catch up on current events and information and find out tax dollars isnt being used to fund the stadium….gambling revenue will be used.

        Now if you dont gamble, its a win win for you punkin’ head!

        Now you can vote for whom ever party you chose!

        Yippee Skippee!!!!!!!!!!!!

        SKOL VIKES

  • Kman

    Just Pass it and Quit wasting your time and move on to something eles

    • Tired of Stupid

      Congratulations. Dumbest post in the thread so far.

  • DougT

    Lovely – use a regressive tax (gambling0) to finance the vikings stadium…make those the least likely to get any benefit fomr this to pay for it so that millionaires can enjoy it. Perfect!

    Ahh the progressives must be going absolutely crazy over this one….

    • jackactionhero

      What’s the problem with using pull tab money for the stadium. You think that hurts the pull tab players? That is the most bizarre reason I’ve heard yet for why the Vikings and the NFL should not be in Minnesota, but should be in the other major metropolitan areas. I mean wow, Doug…. Way to not comprehend the situation…

      • DougT

        really? we are going to use gambling to fund a state project? How proud minnesotians must feel! good lord – gambling is bad for everyone. It takes money from those that cant afford to loose it (in general) and gives it to the state to build a stadium for the profit of millionaires? really?

        If “The Stadium” was so great it would already have been built. Its not – the only people that need the stadium are the Minneapolis residents – who feed off of the additional taxes from the traffic it creates – it really does not do much for the rest of us.

        • Ryan

          Guessing you wont be gambling then, huh?

          “…It takes money from those that cant afford to loose it (in general)…”

          and thats the rest of the populations fault that enjoy the entertainment??? THEN DONT PLAY!

          So far thats the most ridiculous comment on this issue yet.

          • DougT

            Well I guess your saying that the suckers that gamble will pay for this – so fine – rather that group of suckers than the general taxpayers of this state.

            • Ryan

              Either way, it gets paid for….if the gambling idea wasnt being floated around, it would be on the taxpayers dime. So count your blessings…for now.

              By the way, the welfare system does a fine job making suckers out of all of us, ever since welfare was invented. I’d be all for gambling to fund the welfare cases. Bet that’d help put GA out of business….or at least cut down on the group sizes.

              And if that happens, that’d probably cut down on the recepients who dont deserve it or at least force them to find a job to supplement. There wouldnt be enough gamblers to fund it as it is now!


              HEY….I think Im either on something or on to something here!!!!

        • jackactionhero

          You don’t have the authority to declare that “gambling is bad for everyone.” You only have the authority to say gambling is bad for YOU. See, you don’t speak for me. See how that works?

          I gamble and can afford it. Anybody who gambles and can’t afford it – Well that is THEIR PROBLEM.

          The new stadium will draw big events. Think Olympics, Superbowl, Special Olympics, Monster Trucks, Sporting Conventions, Boat Shows… But yeah you’re right. It won’t do much for the rest of us. LOL

          • DougT

            Drink the Kool-Aide – dring the Kool- Aide

            Oh and with all them super big events people all over the world will come to minnesota…. wow I am impressed (monster truck rallies… really?)

            And in 5 years this stadium will suck, the vikings will be gone and you will have antique shows at your stadium…and the taxpayers (suckers) will have to pick up the slack – again …

            • jackactionhero

              Nothing in this comment of yours has any validity, Doug.

              • DougT

                Well there ya go – bang – nailed me on that one!


            • Caig R. Johnson

              They have to sign a 30 year lease and stay here for that long.

      • Jason

        @ jack , The people that are getting hurt are the charities currently benefitting from pull tabs. Side note, who do you think is going to pick up the ” TAB” when the 30,000,000 isnt coming in every year?

        • jackactionhero

          They are new pull tabs, not taking funding from the existing. Don’t buy the Vikings pull tabs if you don’t want to. See how easy that was, Jason?

  • morgan

    I would prefer repayment to our educational coffers. But that type of thinking might be just a little too rational.

    • jackactionhero

      So no spending on anything unless that’s repaid. Right? LOL. Anybody who raises money for Susan G. Komen should also hand that money over so we can pay it into the black hole known as education. It wouldn’t matter how much money of our taxes we gave to “education” because nothing would change.

  • Votem Out

    Vote them OUT all of them! Gambling money could be used for schools! Not to mentions its just an expansion of government.

    • Fred

      you can throw all the money you want at schools, but it isn’t going to make these lazy, fat, piece of dung kids nowadays want to learn anymore, unless you’re talking about school funding that gives kids unlimited texting and a personal xbox in each classroom.

    • Ryan

      Schools??? Whatever….ridiculous suggestion

      Taxes takes care of that worthless investment. How ’bout spending tax money to educate people on not having a couple 13, 14 kids so that we dont have to build schools on every block in every city because the current schools overflowing with about 50 kids to a room every school year??? Then eventually, our tax dollars wont have to be given to those folks to raise thier kids.

      I just saved billions right there just by THAT idea.

      SKOL VIKES!!!!!!

  • randi

    I see the big man on the net, little man in the bedroom is hard at it criticizing everyone and everything that doesn’t suit him again.

    Obviously I’m not the only female who shut you down or you would have other things to do rather than flap your gums on here.

    Would I ever love to run into you at a bar some night – but not for the reason you’d like. I’d chew you up and spit you out right in front of everybody, little man with the big mouth.

  • mvly

    I don’t understand why our leaders have so much time trying to build a billion dollars stadium for the Vikings. Can they not see that American students are way behind Chinese, Japanese, and Indian students? Don’t we rather want to be proud of having the most intelligent and innovative people than the state with the most expensive stadium but a loser team? A nice stadium doesn’t take us anywhere in life. Today, big companies are bringing a lot of Chinese and Indian workers to work in this country while American kids are struggled to compete to get any job after graduating. Why can’t our leaders spend a day finding ways to improve our education system instead of arguing about this whole stadium issue which has not gone anywhere. It’s very embarrassing that the Chinese knows more math and engineering than us. If this is how things go, eventually, Americans will end up cleaning the Chinese toilets and take out their trashes.

    • Ryan

      And yet they come here to work and help build our national defenses and what not with their knowledge, huh?!

      Pretty sure the Chinese will be taking over whether the Vikings get a stadium or not. Theres no contingency deal here. They own a majority of our national debt.

      We’ll be learning Chinese soon enough. We’ve had centuries to worry about education and spent the same amount of time throwing money into it…face it, our system still produces morons, always will – the other countries has their share of them as well, just not as many as we do perhaps.

      By the way, dont gamble if you dont support it. SImple solution for ya.

  • SoDak

    You guys crack me up. All this talk and worry about a little dab o’ money. When will everyone realize that this is a win win win? This small investment will pay the state back at least 100 times over. The Vikingswill be winning at least 3 or 4 Superbowls in the next 10 years and the state will be on the map. Now. quit being so tight, open up the pocket books and spend some of that surplus on a wise investment.

    • Ira

      You are completely wrong. The facts prove it. Google it your self or use the links below:

      There are no economic benefits to taxpayer subsidized stadiums. Anyone who tells you different is lying.


      • Ryan

        Hey genius….nevermind the fact that these websites never specifically state that there is no economic benefits – in fact, cbssports.com says quite the opposite. You just copied pasted from some other morons post who didnt do their homework and assumed it supported your argument. It doesnt.

        And nevermind the fact that approximately 90% of NFL stadiums were funded publicly (google that).

        How ’bout you show more websites that have something relevant to the story and tell us about the lack of economic benefit to a gamblers funded stadium?

        Just another idiot.

        • Jenny

          Go back and read them again.

          And this time, have an adult with you to help you with all the big words.

          Where are the links to studies that support YOUR position?

          Oh that’s right…there AREN’T ANY.

          • Ryan

            Well Jens, this is a relatively new idea using gambling revenue to fund this stadium so there isnt really any websites available as of todays date, pumkin head.

            However, if you’ve been keeping up with current events, and its pretty apparent you haven’t been, news and newspaper articles and various news websites – such as the many articles ‘CCO has posted more than several times about how gambling rather than tax money would be more prudent and beneficial to fund this stadium – perhaps you wouldnt sound like an mis-informed idiot in your posts.

            See, this is why you women need to stay in the kitchen and let the men argue this point…its really for your protection.

      • jackactionhero

        Why are you looking for economic benefits from a stadium? Go get a job.

  • Tired of Stupid

    If the state takes money and gives it to Piggy Wilf, that means they can’t use it on education, roads, health care or tax relief.

    So when they want to spend money on that stuff guess what they will do?


    My God jocks are stupid.

    • Ryan

      UHG…..another whining idiot who needs to update his current events….

      I give up……….

      • Craig

        Why do stadium supporters never have anything but lies?

        Oh that’s right. It’s a giant SCAM that only gullible saps buy into.

    • jackactionhero

      “If the state takes money and gives it to Piggy Wilf, that means they can’t use it on education, roads, health care or tax relief.”

      This is not a factual statement. That isn’t how it works…

      • desert eagle .50

        Gambling is a regressive tax, and if you, Captain Coprophagia, waste your money on it, you’re dumber than I thought. No, guess that’s not possible.

        Maybe Brodkorb needs to bop you in the head again, harder this time, to knock some sense into you.

  • Jason

    SO many priorites need to be dealt with first. Being responsible is not very exciting, but not everyone can behave like children .

  • joe

    The new stadium looks almost like the old one…..HUMMMMMMMMMM

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