Vikings stadium won't go to a vote

Categories: Vikings
Who cares if you want to pay for the new Vikings stadium?
The Minnesota Vikings new stadium will be a $1.1 billion monument dedicated to the death of democracy.

That's what taxpayers learned last night, when the Ramsey County Charter Commission voted not to allow a vote on the tax that will build the new stadium in Arden Hills. See how that works? They held a vote, in order to say that the people of Ramsey County could not have a vote.

This is clearly a technique learned from Adrian Peterson. Essentially, the Ramsey County Charter Commission has used a stiff-arm, a spin move, and a one-two juke move on the taxpayers of St. Paul and surrounding areas. They kept their legs churning. No one will keep them out of the endzone!

In Adrian Peterson, this is admirable. In a public official, it's regrettable.

If any taxpayers have a yellow flag, now is the time to throw it. Upon further review, it looks like the Ramsey County Charter Commission stepped out of bounds.

The Charter Commission voted down putting the tax to a public vote 10-6, and, unlike the Vikings lately, they managed to run out the clock before democracy could mount a comeback.

wilf dayton.jpg
Zygi Wilf, Mark Dayton: Both are paying for the stadium, but the guy on the left gets the profits.
As it stands, the terms of the Arden Hills stadium deal call for $300 million from the state of Minnesota, which apparently has cash to spare somehow, $350 million from the non-voting people of Ramsey County, with the Vikings offering something like $420 million to pick up the balance.

Oh, there's even more good news! The stadium won't even be ready until 2016 at the earliest, coming in at least a year -- and as much as $46 million more expensive --  later than the original proposal, the Pioneer Press reports.

That news comes via the long-awaited risk assessment form the Metropolitan Council, which also documented legitimate concerns about the 0.5 percent sales tax that would be imposed in Ramsey County. The risk report, something of a surprise release last night ,was requested by Mark Dayton in early August.

Dayton asked the Met Council to review the stadium plans, with an eye toward a special session for the legislature in November.

Before last night's hearing, charter commission member and former Arden Hills mayor Beverly Apilkowski explained her support for the stadium to the Pioneer Press.

"I don't like the tax," Apilkowski said. And then: "I'm in favor of the project."

That sounds convincing, doesn't it?


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