MPLS: Anti-ballpark resolution

By Johnson Lee and Zimmermann

Opposing the use of public money for a baseball stadium.

Whereas, Minnesota Statute 297A.99 calls for voter approval of local sales tax imposition; and

Whereas, by a 1997 referendum, Minneapolis taxpayers have already expressed their desire to limit public funding of a professional sports stadium to $10,000,000; and

Whereas, the current proposal would raise a projected $9,800,000 per year for 30 years from Minneapolis; and

Whereas, in a May 1, 2005 Star Tribune poll, 58% of Hennepin County residents disapproved of using public money for a professional sports stadium and 71% favored a referendum on the issue; and

Whereas, any additional tax revenues collected should be directed to higher priority needs identified by the residents of Minneapolis, such as housing, public safety, transportation, education, and youth sports facilities, and should be subject to the open public process of normal municipal budgeting; and

Whereas, authorizing legislation Minnesota House File 2480 removes municipal control by forcing the City to issue event parking passes for City-operated ramps, to vacate public right-of-way on Third Avenue North, to convey City-owned land in the development area without charge, and to issue liquor licenses to the proposed stadium; and

Whereas, Minnesota House File 2480 exempts Twins tickets from the very sales tax that would pay for the stadium and any other local sales taxes;

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by The City Council of The City of Minneapolis:

That the City of Minneapolis opposes the use of a Hennepin County sales tax to fund a professional sports stadium that would generate income solely for the Twins franchise and its owner, Carl Pohlad.

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