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Ramsey County: No advertising tax in Vikings plan

Vikings stadium financing plans are like “vaporware” — the computer industry term for feature-laden software loudly announced yet never makes it to market.

Ramsey County is out with the latest version. While it may never happen, MPR’s headline — “Ramsey County reboots tax plan for Vikings stadium, eyes fees, ads” — had my media-sales readers in a lather this morning. Here was the lead:

“Ramsey County is dropping its countywide sales tax plan to help pay for an Arden Hills stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. Instead, county officials are proposing new user fees and advertising fees.”

Hot-button stuff in the ad world, since the industry has snuffed many previous attempts to tax its sales pitches. But you can relax, fellas — the county says this isn’t the case.

There’s an admissions tax in the plan, but deputy county manager Heather Worthington says of any ad tax, “I don’t think that’s accurate. When you see the talking points, it looks to me like it just could be a typo.”

The reporter, Tim Nelson, says it’s not. He says “advertising fees” refers to the parking-lot naming rights that are part of the plan. That is a fee, not a tax; still, I’d call those “naming rights,” and MPR is adding a clarification to the item saying just that.

If you want to see more, you can cruise through Ramsey County’s letter to the governor, and their just-released talking points (page 3):


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