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Many municipal golf courses losing money — a reason for teed-off taxpayers?

Many municipal golf courses are losing money and require a taxpayer subsidy, says the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota. The conservative group, which supports lower taxes, said city-owned golf courses lost about $2 million in 2007.

Of the more than 500 Minnesota golf courses, just over 100 municipal courses are owned by about 70 cities across the state and the vast majority of city courses lose money, the group said.

It said Moorhead has lost $1,488,226 on its golf courses between 2003 and 2007 and has not turned an operational profit in more than five years. Its taxpayers will be paying off golf course bonds until the year 2021. Golf spending accounts for 2.8 percent of Moorhead’s 2009 budget, more than the information technology and library budgets combined.

The group says these are the municipal golf courses with the most losses from 2003 to 2007:

  • Moorhead    $1,488,226  The Meadows and Village Green
  • Buffalo        $1,428,458  Wild Marsh Golf Course
  • Chaska       $1,180,793  Chaska Par 30, Chaska Town Course
  • Anoka           $739,347   Greenhaven Golf Course
  • Becker          $623,130   Pebble Creek Golf Club
  • Virginia         $588,563   Virginia Golf Course
  • Little Falls     $439,500    Little Falls Country Club
  • New Prague  $386,171    New Prague Golf Club
  • La Crescent  $323,549    Pine Tree Golf Course
  • Janesville     $304,856    Prairie Ridge Golf Course

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 05/02/2009 - 04:26 pm.

    I say to the right-wing Freedom Foundation, so what?

    Golf courses are a common good like parks and ball fields and rec centers and biking/hiking paths along the river and around the lakes. Like picnic grounds and publicly sponsored outdoor concerts or movies or neighborhood festivals.

    Like all these taxpayer provided amenities, public golf courses are part of what makes Minnesota a good place to live, even if you can’t afford to join a country club in order to play a round of golf.

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