Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, waded into the Vikings stadium debate today by saying he doubts the House Taxes Committee will vote for any stadium proposal that includes a tax hike to pay for the stadium.
“The Minnesota Vikings are obviously an important asset to the state, but many in Houston and Fillmore counties have told me that they don’t want any statewide tax raised to help build a new facility,” Davids wrote in an e-mail to supporters.”If the governor chooses to call a special session, it’s going to be interesting to watch the process move forward.”
Davids is chair of the House Taxes Committee which will almost certainly have to hold a hearing on any Vikings stadium bill.
Gov. Dayton says he intends to release his stadium plan during the week of Nov. 7. Ramsey County is proposing a half cent sales tax increase to pay for $350 million of an Arden Hills facility. The Vikings are proposing to spend more than $400 million on the facility. Under that plan the state would have to come up with $300 million.
Several ways to finance the state’s portion of the new stadium have surfaced in recent weeks. The ideas include an expansion of gambling, the use of Legacy Amendment money, a ticket tax or a fee on sports memorabilia. Davids suggested Dayton shouldn’t bother proposing a tax hike.
“I look forward to working with the governor on this issue and promise to give any stadium proposal a fair hearing,” Davids said. “But knowing the makeup of the Taxes committee, I can almost assure him that if the stadium plan contains new taxes, it will face an uphill battle for approval.”
Republicans in the House and Senate have not released a stadium plan. Dayton says he wants to call a special session for the week of Nov. 21 to resolve the issue.