A group opposed to a plan to tax Ramsey County residents extra to help pay for a Vikings stadium in Arden Hills has plans to start a petition drive, now that the county’s Charter Commission has decided not to put the issue to a vote.
Andy Cilek of the Minnesota Voters Alliance said this morning that his group is “putting the finishing touches on our petition this morning and sending to our attorney for a quick review. Our plan is to start gathering signatures tomorrow on a charter amendment referendum petition.”
He said the group will gather the first 500 signatures, then submit them to the county attorney for review, as required by the county charter. “He has 30 days to respond to the sufficiency of petition and comments on authority of ballot wording, if any,” he said.
Tuesday night’s decision by the Charter Commission was considered a victory for the Vikings and their supporters on the Ramsey County Board who are working to complete a deal that would put the stadium in the northern St. Paul suburb. The plans calls for an extra 0.5 percent sales tax only in Ramsey County to pay the county’s share of the stadium subsidy: $350 million.
Stadium supporters had claimed that a vote on the extra tax might kill the deal.
While the commission didn’t support the vote, a report issued today by the Metropolitan Council raised other concerns. The report doesn’t say the state shouldn’t support the deal, but does indicate the proposed schedule is unrealistic and would cost more than expected.