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Dayton’s Stadium Chief Backs Pro Sports Gear Tax

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The chairwoman of the state panel overseeing Vikings stadium construction says she supports a sales tax on pro sports merchandise as a backup source of dollars for the financially struggling project.

The House Taxes Committee reviewed the merchandise tax and an accompanying luxury seat tax at a Thursday hearing. Michele Kelm-Helgen, whom Gov. Mark Dayton appointed to lead the state’s Vikings stadium authority, discouraged the luxury seat proposal but called the 10 percent sales tax hike on licensed pro sports gear a “good idea.”

Rep. Ann Lenczewski of Bloomington proposed the new sports-related taxes in response to lagging tax revenue from electronic gambling that’s supposed to cover the state’s share of the $975 million, downtown Minneapolis stadium. The Vikings and other Minnesota pro franchises oppose the proposal, but Lenczewski says she’s likely to include it in a broader tax bill to be unveiled soon.

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