St. Paul City Council to oppose sales tax for Arden Hill Vikings site

Because the added half-percent sales tax would put too much of a burden on its residents, the St. Paul City Council is expected to approve a resolution Wednesday opposing the current plan to put a new Vikings stadium in Arden Hills.

A majority of the Ramsey County Board has been working with the Vikings on the Arden Hills proposal, and the current plan is to fund the county’s portion of the bill with the extra half-cent sales tax. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman earlier came out in favor of a state-wide liquor tax as the way to pay for a stadium.

The Star Tribune says six of the seven city council members are sponsors of the resolution opposing use of the added sales tax. Nearly half of the expected $350 million raised by the tax would come from St. Paul, they say.

Says the story:

The City Council’s resolution would encourage the team and “other interested parties to consider options for constructing a stadium that minimize the risk to the taxpayers, limit the level of public subsidy (particularly for the host community), and promote a fair, multi-jurisdictional participation for a statewide amenity.”

That means the council believes the cost of a public subsidy should be borne statewide, not simply by the county.

The resolution is advisory and surely won’t have much impact on the Republican-controlled Legislature, which has shown no love for St. Paul (or Minneapolis or Duluth) this session.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by David Greene on 07/05/2011 - 03:28 pm.

    St. Paul is seriously lacking leadership. With this resolution, they tacitly endorse an Arden Hills stadium, only quibbling over the funding mechanism. That’s a disaster for St. Paul, as with the associated retail development, it will kill lots of Mom & Pop shops in the city and in the inner-ring suburbs.

    It will be the east metro’s Mall of America and it affects more than the core cities. Look at what MoA did to Ridgedale, for example.

    The city and the inner-ring suburbs should be opposing this stadium plan with everything they’ve got.

  2. Submitted by James Hamilton on 07/05/2011 - 05:26 pm.

    St. Paul retail has been dead for years, David. What’s wrong with the stadium plan is that public money will go into it.

    With the rest of the country adjusting to the “new normal”, it’s time for the NFL, franchise owners, players and fans to suck it up and pay for their own infrastructure.

    Or shall we adopt the Roman approach? Panem et circenses.

  3. Submitted by David Greene on 07/06/2011 - 09:50 am.

    @James

    Have you been to St Paul? University Avenue? Grand Avenue? Even downtown has retail. Nor to mention restaurants and services. And what of Maplewood, Little Canada, West St. Paul and so on?

    Even if there were no public money going to this behemoth it would be an atrocious project given the location. It is 1960’s-era thinking.

Leave a Reply