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Moorhead legislator doesn’t want Ramsey County residents to vote on stadium tax

State Rep.

State Rep. Morrie Lanning says letting Ramsey County residents vote on referendum to raise county sales taxes to pay for a proposed Vikings stadium in Arden Hills would kill the deal.

Lanning, a Republican from Moorhead, is a big Vikings booster and House author of the stadium bill. He wants the Legislature to approve the deal with a provision that bypasses a county-wide vote on the tax increase.

Lanning, quoted in the Pioneer Press, said: “For all intents and purposes, I think [a county vote] would kill the project, for that location. If somebody wanted to kill the project, that would be a good way to do it.”

Involving voters, no matter how they vote, would mean a huge delay in the deal, Lanning said.

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Other top legislators, including Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, also a Republican, favor a referendum.

Of course, there still is no actual stadium bill ready for legislators to vote on. And Lester Bagley, the Vikings’ vice president of public affairs and stadium development, told the paper he wouldn’t speculate on a referendum’s impact because the proposal for the stadium hasn’t been finalized.

The paper says we’re not hearing too much about the Arden Hills plan these days because there’s an environmental and technical review that won’t be ready until next month.