The Big Story Blog

Dayton sees pull tabs as viable funding option for Vikes stadium

Posted at 3:35 PM on November 1, 2011 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Sport

etabs1.JPG

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.

johnkrieselJohn Kriesel
Seth_KaplanSeth Kaplan
in reply to @Seth_Kaplan

@Seth_Kaplan the electronic pull-tabs bill was meant to help the charities that have been hurt so only $20 million or so would go to state.
Nov 01 via EchofonFavoriteRetweetReply

Despite taking the sales tax off the table, Dayton said he remained optimistic that a deal could get done.


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.