Welfare for the Vikings
To the Editor:
Since the Legislature approved a billion dollar stadium for the Minnesota Vikings a couple weeks ago, voters have asked me what I thought of the deal.
I understand that many Minnesotans are football fans and that there is a case to be made for a better stadium than the Metro Dome.
A majority of the Democrats in the House and the Senate voted for the stadium deal, and of course it was Gov. Dayton’s number one priority.
I would have broken with my fellow Democrats on this. I would have voted against the deal for two reasons.
Paying for the stadium bonds by expanding electronic gambling is very risky. Many people who know something about this are wary that the extra gambling revenue may not be large enough to cover the annual cost of the bonds. Regular taxes will have to be used to make up the difference.
Second, this is just more corporate welfare. The Vikings make a lot of money. They could have paid for the stadium themselves. They refused to open their corporate books for a reason, because they didn’t want Minnesotans to see how much money they were making.
As a result, the taxpayers’ investment in the Vikings stadium breaks down to a $72 public subsidy for every ticket, to every game. As a final insult to taxpayers, the deal grants a property tax exemption for the stadium.
Greg Davids, my opponent in the Nov. election, voted for the stadium despite all his empty rhetoric about less government spending.
Greg likes corporate welfare. He raised the property taxes of middle class homeowners and farmers instead of raising taxes on the rich who own the corporations. Earlier, Greg introduced legislation to completely eliminate the corporate income tax. And now he voted for the stadium, a clear piece of corporate welfare, and the Vikings won’t have to pay any property taxes.
Greg Davids doesn’t represent the residents of Houston and Fillmore counties. He represents wealthy people in the Twin Cities.
Former State Representative