Dave Thompson, GOP senator, rips taxes in Vikings stadium bill

Your tax dollars at work?
Your tax dollars at work?

In a simple statement today, assistant Senate majority leader Dave Thompson of Lakeville crystalized the thoughts of just about every critic of a proposed new taxpayer-supported stadium for the Minnesota Vikings.

For a Republican controlled Legislature that swept into power on promises of low taxes, it's "inconceivable."

And hypocritical too?

"I acknowledge the Minnesota Vikings are a state asset. However, Republicans campaigned on the message of sensible government, low taxes and decreased regulation. The voters sent us a clear message.
Sen. Dave Thompson.
Sen. Dave Thompson.

As legislators, we are making tough decisions relating to education, public safety and the health of our most vulnerable citizens. It is inconceivable that we would fund a stadium to help multi-million dollar athletes pay their mortgages while many middle class Minnesotans are struggling to pay theirs. The focus of the legislature should be on creating a business friendly environment that facilitates success for the Minnesota Vikings and every other job provider in our state."

The man sounds like a Democrat with all that fuss over budget cuts to "education, public safety and the health of our most vulnerable citizens." Never the less, it's a point he's raised consistently since this latest stadium bill went into circulation.

The bill was officially introduced on Monday. It would raise about a third of the construction costs through a sales tax on memorabilia, high-priced seats, "user fees," naming rights, and a Vikings-related lottery. The Vikings would be required to finance up one-third of the overall funding package, and the as-yet-undecided host city of the stadium would come up with another third of the cost.

Lawmakers have until May 23 to pass the bill, and they likely won't take it up until after Easter recess later this month. Think they can pull this off?


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