Dayton’s “secret plan” on Vikings funding taking shape at Capitol

Minnesota Wild t-shirts at Target
(MPR Photo/Tim Nelson)

The plan to boost Vikings stadium-bound revenue likely won’t include a sports memorabilia tax.  That proposal appears dead.

Supporter of the memorabilia proposal House Taxes chair Ann Lenczewski announced at a conference committee meeting that she’d opted to back the governor’s so-called “secret” plan to make up for the shortfall in gambling tax revenues.

Electronic pulltabs and bingo currently earn a small fraction of what state finance officials thought they’d bring in in gambling taxes.

Lenczewski knows what the new stopgap plan is, but declined to say. Here’s how she explained it outside the committee room:

“The governor is looking at some different options on how to fund the gap in the Vikings stadium. And I committed to the governor that I would carry his preference. We’ve been doing sports memorabilia on our bill, and he has some concerns about that…

I said I would put that in my offer right now, to get that out in front of the conference committee, and that the House would accept the governor’s position on that…

The (revenue) commissioner will be telling people about that later…  The House is going to give up the sports memorabilia approach and support the governor’s approach.”

The memorabilia tax was included a bill last month, after a tax committee hearing where it got support from Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen, among others.

But word came yesterday that the Target Corporation didn’t like the plan: the wholesale tax could hit its warehousing operations that bring all the discount chain’s sports memorabilia to Minnesota for distribution.

It looks like we’ll get a look at the “secret plan” in the tax conference committee meeting Thursday.