The Vikings Stadium deal is history, or so Mark Dayton, the Legislature, Mayor Rybak, Minneapolis City councilmembers and Vikings would like us to think. On Tuesday Dec. 3, they will be handing out the fancy groundbreaking shovels at the Metrodome site and congratulating themselves on putting one over the taxpayers, of Minnesota and in particular, Minneapolis.
Over in St. Paul, at 9 am, a coalition of organizations (The Taxpayers League of Minnesota, Minnesota Majority and Americans for Prosperity Minnesota) who opposed public funding to the Vikings Stadium will hold a press conference to voice their concerns with the current funding package and to make it known that those concerns continue as the funding sources may not pan out.
In addition, the Taxpayers League is hosting an online petition to give people a way to make their voice heard on stadium funding. The petition will be used to show that the public is still watching, and doesn’t want this deal to get any worse.
The deal has already changed more than once. Electronic pull-tabs were supposed to pay the taxpayers’ share? No longer, since the money didn’t magically appear. Now smokers are paying, but sales and revenues have declined.
The State on the other hand, must find the money somehow even if it comes out of the general fund. There is bipartisan agreement on that, as we saw from the 2012 and 2013 sessions. But important questions remain. We are paying for the stadium by adding more debt onto the state. Will we get new taxes and target new groups to shake down? Or will the Vikings be pressured to contribute more to this deal if there are additional costs?
Why a petition? Why now? Isn’t it a “done deal?” No. Governor Dayton and the legislature want you to think that it is.
Can you say “cost overruns?”
Where will the money come from? Do you want it to be YOUR wallet that opens up?
To quote Darth Vader in the first Star Wars movie, “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.” We can look forward to the deal altering further when highly inflated predictions of revenues continue not to materialize and costs end up more than estimated.
So sign the petition and make your voice heard—tell them you don’t want the deal get any worse!