The state of Minnesota’s budget and economic forecast has a section on what’s happening with the various revenue streams that were supposed to pay for the new Vikings stadium, and — you know, would it be that terrible for a state budget office to just once hire some writers who can actually put a coherent English sentence together? You can read the original here (pages 49-50, if you dare), but the upshot appears to be:
- Total state gambling tax revenues are now projected at $83 million, $52 million lower than previous estimates, with barely any uptick from the disastrous e-pulltabs game that was supposed to create a windfall to pay for the stadium. (But you knew that.) “We’re assuming no growth, until we actually see it,” Minnesota Management and Budget commissioner Jim Schowalter told Minnesota Public Radio.
- Initial debt payments on the stadium will be lower than expected, mostly because the stadium bond sale was delayed from last August until next month. And the state and city if Minneapolis will still be on the hook for $34 million a year in payments starting in the 2015 fiscal year.
- This will eat up the entirety of the $26.5 million one-time cigarette inventory tax that was redirected last summer to fill the stadium financing gap, as well as the $20 million a year in future out-of-state business taxes that was redirected at the same time, plus the entire contents of the state’s $36 million stadium reserve fund by 2016.
And after 2016, what happens? Minneapolis tax revenue currently going to pay off the convention center should be available starting in 2020, but until then, it’s anyone’s guess. Schowalter said the state could “restructure” the payments to forestall any budget gap until the convention center money starts flowing, but that would mean higher payments later, and the convention center money is also going to be needed to pay for previously approved renovations to the Timberwolves‘ Target Center, so … I’m serious, this is really the kind of thing that should be explained in a budget forecast document. If budget forecasts were really about the explaining.