Art Laffer says, "Government spending is taxation," since spending must be paid for, one way or the other. So who will pay more so that people who enjoy dressing up with plastic swords, blond braids, and Hagar-the-horrible hats can have "their" team in town? It's won't just be people who enjoy gambling--long the suspected "contributor" to the coffers of the rent-seeking racket known as the NFL. It may also include anyone who orders something from Amazon, BN.com, or any other online merchant. Politics in Minnesota has the story. Search for "Sales and Use Tax" in the Senate bill.
Yes, people are supposed to keep track of how much they spend online (or from catalog sales), calculate a sales tax, and send that to the state. But that's rarely done, so in effect, welfare-for-Wilf law will be funded, in part, by expanding the sales tax.
[Update: Ahem: Thanks to Kyle Shiely, a producer at WCCO who writes under the Twitter handle WCCO Kyle, for writing, "Best part is that internet tax doesn't go towards stadium, they just added it as a bonus gift to taxpayers." Like Nancy Pelosi, I didn't read the (whole) bill, so I missed that. So it looks like the (effective) tax increase is not a direct result of the financial costs of building the stadium, but a political cost of getting government involved in the financing of it. As Kyle notes in subsequent Twitter notes, "Mostly it [the tax provision] is a gift to Target and Best Buy. They couldn't get it passed in tax committee so they hid it in Stadium bill. They hope taxypayers are so happy to have stadium they won't notice the new tax."]
There are in fact some reasons why an Internet sales tax may be a good idea. But imposing one should be part of a larger discussion of tax reform in the state. For example, I believe the sales-tax exemption on clothing has no rational foundation. My motto: Broaden the base, lower the rate, practice tax neutrality.
Instead, if the Senate version of the Vikings Boondoggle survives the conference committee, we'll have at least three bad effects: Welfare for the NFL; increased tax revenue for the state without any accompanying demand for spending reform; and at least one (perhaps two, I have no idea what "pull tabs" are, electronic or otherwise) new revenue stream that is cemented into place without any tax reform that promotes economic growth.
Perhaps we need to invade other planets and obtain some sweet martian gold to fund the passion for "purple and gold."