Ramsey-Vikings plan meeting opposition

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, June 1, 2011

ST. PAUL — The proposal to build a new Minnesota Vikings stadium in Ramsey County is running into stiff opposition from elected officials in the county’s largest city.

Minnesota Public Radio News reported Tuesday that six of seven St. Paul City Council members are against a proposed half-cent county sales tax to help fund construction of a stadium in Arden Hills. The council doesn’t have the power to stop the Ramsey County Board from raising the tax, but several council members said they may take a non-binding vote against it anyway.

“In order to support a sales tax in someone’s community, you have to demonstrate a net gain financially for that community, and that net gain isn’t there on this proposal,” council member Pat Harris said.

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According to an estimate by the Minnesota Department of Revenue, 47 percent of Ramsey County’s taxable sales come from St. Paul. In addition, 52 percent of the county’s 12,000 taxable businesses are in the city.

Under the plan put forth by the Vikings and Ramsey County commissioners, the $1.1 billion stadium would be built in the suburb north of St. Paul with contributions from the team, the county and the state. Legislators did not vote on the proposal before they adjourned last week, but it could be revived in an expected special session to finish the state budget.