The Deets: Ramsey County voters are smarter than the average ‘Wilfare’ supporter

One common Zygi Wilfare comment from people in favor of forcing Ramsey County residents to borrow $350,000,000 and make debt payments on it for decades through a 7% sales tax increase is that Ramsey County residents aren’t willing to vote to raise their taxes for any reason.

In fact, Ramsey County Commissioner, Tony Bennett, has gone so far as to say that Ramsey County residents wouldn’t vote in favor of a tax increase for any reason. MPR reported that last month:

“I don’t think you could get a library passed on a referendum. Never mind an ice arena or a playground, if it were the only issue on the ballot. No matter what we put on a ballot today that costs money, I don’t think anybody would look at it,” he said.

However, Ramsey County is the exact same county that voted in favor of the Legacy Amendment in 2008. Here is a heat maps of votes by county from that ballot item:

Ramsey County Pro Legacy Amendment


Which tells me that Ramsey County voters are willing to vote to raise their own taxes when they see value in how their money will collectively be spent. Since the sentiment of Ramsey County voters appears to be against providing welfare to Zygi Wilf so he can build a 21,000 spot parking lot with a replacement stadium, people like Tony Bennett and Cory Merrifield are working hard to deny Ramsey County their right to vote on whether their taxes should be raised to financially support the most profitable sports entertainment league in the United States.

It’s worse than welfare. It’s Wilfare.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/11/2011 - 11:15 am.

    Lester Bagley was a guest on MPR this morning, trying to make the case that government funds are a great way to leverage a private investment of $400k and lauding the economic benefits produced by the Dome and which we can expect from Arden Hills. He refused to say whether it was Wilf’s way or the highway for the Vikings, despite a strong offensive push for an answer.

    He also took issue with the argument that a stadium was not the best use for $600 million in public funds at this time, although he never really explained why this should take priority over any of our [other?] pressing needs her in Minnesota.

    Demonstrate to me why this investment outranks any other and you might convince me it’s a good one. But when you try, give me the net gains and the net costs, don’t ignore the fact that many of the jobs you claim would be created already exist (at the Dome and adjacent areas, that private development of Arden Hills will bring in property tax revenue (revenue permanently lost when a public facility is built), and a multitude of other factors perenially ignored by stadium proponents.

    For that matter, let’s hear how a $600 million public investment in development of the Ford plant site would compare.

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