The Vikings’ latest bid for state financing doesn’t fly with state Rep. King Banaian, a Republican from St. Cloud who’s also an economics professor at St. Cloud State University.
A blog post by St. Cloud Times reporter Mark Sommerhauser looks at Banaian’s objection to the plan, which the Vikings say would use taxes raised by the team — including state income taxes paid by players and employees, and sales tax from items sold in a new stadium — to pay the state’s share of the $1.1 billion stadium.
The new proposal, floated in the Twin Cities newspaper ads last weekend, is called the “but-for” plan, because it would target tax revenues that allegedly wouldn’t exist, but for the Vikings existence in the state.
Banaian says there’s “a gaping hole in the Vikings’ logic,” according to Sommerhauser’s piece:
The sales and income tax revenues the Vikings generate wouldn’t necessarily disappear if the team left the state, Banaian says. He says at least some of what fans now spend at Vikings games likely would be spent elsewhere in the state — and thus, also generate sales-tax revenue — even if the Vikings left.
The claim that the tax revenues would be lost without the Vikings “is pretty clearly an overstatement,” Banaian said. “It assumes that the fan who doesn’t have the Vikings to go see, sits in their home and does nothing.”
So the proposal just doesn’t work for the economist: “That, to me, is an incomplete plan,” Banaian said, “and I wouldn’t vote for it.”