Today’s a day of last-ditch efforts to stop the Minnesota Vikings‘ $1 billion stadium deal, with several groups planning protests. The Minneapolis city council is set to give final approval to the plan in votes tomorrow and Friday.
If the council votes for the stadium, it looks like that’s it: The state legislature granted the stadium an exemption from the Minneapolis law that requires a referendum for sports subsidies over $10 million, and even if it hadn’t, the city’s lawyers insist that the stadium bill would be legal because it’s technically state tax money that the city is diverting for stadium funds. Which might or might not hold up in court, of course, but that doesn’t matter regardless because, hey, state exemption.
Meanwhile, we now have a figure for an additional public subsidy in the deal: $11 million worth of land will be removed from the property tax rolls and handed to the Vikings as part of the project, it was revealed to the council on Monday. If I’m using this correctly, that’s about $460,000 a year in additional taxes the Vikings will get out of paying, which comes to a present value of around $7 million.
That’s just for the new land being exempted from taxes, though; there’s no reason not to charge the Vikings property taxes on the Metrodome land, or on the stadium itself, since it will be primarily a private facility. (Or, if you insist on considering it a “people’s stadium” because the state can hold monster truck rallies there, the city could charge a pro-rated payment in lieu of taxes for the amount of use that goes to football.) State senator John Marty has previously estimated this exemption as being worth $25 million a year, which comes to about $380 million in present value.
Add that to the previously discussed $800 million in public outlay, and that brings the current tally to $1.187 billion. Just in case, you know, you had taken $1.185 billion and bet the under.