Ballpark plan may be a hit

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Talk about throwing a curve.

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Talk about throwing a curve.

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Just when it looked like Minnesota residents would be saddled with more taxes, along comes a new plan to help build a Twins stadium that, on the surface, wouldn’t cost taxpayers a dime.

Recently, Gov. Jesse Ventura unveiled the plan that could be workable because of current low interest rates.

In a nutshell, the Twins would give the state a $165 million "gift," which would average 8.5 percent interest each year. The interest would help pay the $330 million the state would borrow by selling taxable revenue bonds. The interest on those bonds would only be about 6.5 percent, meaning bonds could be paid off in 30 years.

Here’s a situation where it will benefit both a private enterprise and the state as a whole.

Legislators previously suggested a proposal that would raise funds for a ballpark by taxing newspapers, magazines and sports memorabilia. We don’t support taxing newspapers and magazines for obvious reasons, and taxing sports memorabilia is a desperate attempt, at best, to try and find a quick-fix solution to a problem that can’t be solved overnight.

We’re not saying whether it’s right (or wrong) for public money to be used to support private businesses. What we are saying is this is a plan that could work and doesn’t additionally burden the state taxpayer.

Give Ventura and his staff credit for finding a possible solution that benefits all sides involved.