Posted at 3:35 PM on November 1, 2011
by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Sport
Gov. Mark Dayton today told reporters electronic pull tabs gambling is a viable option to help pay for a new Vikings football stadium but he effectively took tax increases off the table, saying the votes were not there in the Legislature.
The Vikings threw their support behind a stadium plan for Arden Hills that required a county sales tax increase. The county, though, would have needed a legislative exemption to pass the tax without a public vote. Dayton, though, made it clear that lawmakers would not back the exemption, throwing the entire Arden Hills plan into jeopardy as well as a Minneapolis plan that would have used a city sales tax increase.
Vikings officials are expected to speak on the matter at 4 p.m.
While pull-tabs might be a politically palatable tool to raise money for the public funding of a Vikings stadium, it's not clear that it would be enough on its own. The public was expected to pick up about $650 million of the estimated $1.1 billion cost of the Arden Hills stadium.
But Rep. John Kriesel, an author of the electronic pull tabs bill, tweeted today that it would bring in only about $20 million a year.
Despite taking the sales tax off the table, Dayton said he remained optimistic that a deal could get done.