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Strike four: Another municipality opposes stadium

While the stadium games have heated up again at the Capitol for this legislative session--particularly for the Twins and the Gopher football team--not everyone in local government is enthused.

At its core, the main opposition to the proposed Twins stadium in downtown Minneapolis is that it levels a meager sales tax on citizens imbibing in Hennepin County. Trouble is, state law requires a referendum for such a tax, unless the lawmakers in St. Paul decide to wave it.

Which would go against the wishes of a handful--and counting--of municipalities.

Add Brooklyn Center that list. From a press release from Citizens for a Stadium Tax Referendum:

St. Paul, MN (March 2, 2006) --The city of Brooklyn Center recently passed a resolution that no stadium tax be assessed to taxpayers in Hennepin County without a countywide referendum as provided in state statute. The resolution, which was approved on a 4-0 vote, refers to a sales tax increase proposed to subsidize a new Twins stadium.

The following Hennepin County cities (Twins stadium) have approved such resolutions or council letters-- Mound, Brooklyn Center, Eden Prairie and Plymouth. Anoka County cities (Vikings stadium) include Centerville, Ham Lake, Oak Grove and Spring Lake Park.

"There is a growing grassroots movement--people want our referendum law to be respected for these billion dollar stadium taxes," said Laura Lehmann of Citizens for a Stadium Tax Referendum.

The Hennepin County stadium tax would increase sales taxes by $1.1 billion over 30 years. The Anoka County stadium tax would increase sales taxes by over $1 billion over 30 years.

Minnesota Statute 297A .99, Subd. 3 (a) requires that any local sales tax to be approved by a voter referendum. An exception to this law has never been granted. Statewide polls have shown overwhelming public support for Minnesota's referendum law (77 percent and 81 percent approval).

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