Minneapolis pol proposes breaking deadlock over giving United public money by giving them more public money

Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin has an idea for how to break the deadlock over giving Minnesota United $45 million in property tax exemptions for a new stadium: The state ballpark authority could buy the stadium from the team, thus taking it off the property tax rolls, and also the county could redirect sales tax money to infrastructure improvements once it’s done paying off the Twins stadium with it — hey, wait, that’s even more public subsidies! You’re going in the wrong direction, Peter! Don’t you know anything about deadlocks? Yeesh.

Best part of this article, meanwhile, remains the disclosure at the end: “McGuire’s investment partners include Glen Taylor, who owns the Star Tribune.” Not that I think this explains the paper’s failure to point out that McLaughlin’s idea doesn’t make any sense (or at least doesn’t actually solve the objections to the original United plan), but it certainly can’t help.

6 comments on “Minneapolis pol proposes breaking deadlock over giving United public money by giving them more public money

  1. I will be survived, unless there is some serious finaggling of power away from the city council and others, that there is going to be a way to ram this through. In the WI case, the legislature took away the county board’s supervision of land sales, and gave them exclusively to Chris Abele, and that’s not the situation here as evidenced by the legislatures vote against subsidies.

  2. It was game over two stadiums ago when Peter McLaughlin and his three cohorts on the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners played a major role in ramming through the Twins stadium. Peter gallantly told us that he would soften the blow by throwing some money at the libraries and at youth sports (just to keep it fair to future jocks), if there were any money left over. He and his three henchmen, Randy Johnson, Mike Opat and Mark Stenglein, had secret meetings that the other three Commissioners (two Republicans and a Democrat) learned about after the fact. This is but one example of the “democratic process” going on in Minnesota on all levels of government. Last election, dark horse candidate Captain Jack Sparrow got 10,000 votes running against McLaughlin. McLaughlin is very much disliked here, but incumbency pretty much guarantees re-election. Note that the stadium-boosting Mayor Rybak declined to give the constituents their “referendum” when he failed to run for Mayor last cycle. He knew he would not win. That seems like bad sportsmanship.

  3. What makes this stadium even more galling than previous instances of Minnesotans getting bilked is that several of the richest families in the state are involved: Bill McGuire, formerly of United Health; Glen Taylor, owner of the Timberwolves; Bob Pohlad of the Pohlad family, owners of the Minnesota Twins; and Wendy Carlson Nelson, a super-rich heir of the Curt Carlson fortune. It’s as if the billionaires in our state are saying, “In your face, Minnesotans.”

    A neighboring building from the one in which I’m typing this at the University of Minnesota is the Curtis L. Carlson School of Management. So I went over and read the engraved transcription on a plaque under the bust of Mr. Carlson that stands on the first floor of the building named for him. It reads:

    “Distinguished alumnus, outstanding businessman, entrepreneur, civil leader, philanthropist.

    “In an extraordinarily productive lifetime, Curtis L. Carlson has exemplified the values of education, hard work, risk taking, commitment, motivation, family, community and faith. His heritage represents the collective experience of immigrant Minnesotans. His legacy is a lasting contribution to the economic and education well being [sic] of Minnesota.”

    If these billionaires can’t break even in their operational budget without exemptions from property taxes, maybe they should consider another investment. Or maybe they should count on the value of their asset appreciating significantly in the coming years. Or maybe they should note the words “philanthropist,” “risk taking,” and “community” under Curt Carlson’s bust.

    In any case, there ought to be a law against panhandling billionaires.

  4. Let me take time out from lighting a Cuban cigar with a 100 dollar bill to state unequivocally that panhandling billionaires are people too. Must we be ridiculed in every post on this site?!?

  5. 15 years ago, most major city councils would’ve taken this deal in a heartbeat. Not a penny from taxpayers on actual stadium construction? Sold. My how times have changed. I’m far less negative on this deal than those commenting here. In the world of stadium deals, they don’t come much softer on taxpayers than this one. I loathe publicly bankrolled stadiums just like most people, but I don’t see much harm in tax incentives. A permanent property tax exemption would be a non-starter for me, but if you put a sunset clause on it (something McGuire et. al have shown a willingness to do), I don’t see the problem. That site is a black hole right now in the middle of downtown generating very little revenue to the city. It’s mostly low-rent office space, at least half of which is vacant, best I can tell. The big problem with this was that they introduced their proposal on the last day of the legislative session. Downright idiotic timing that was doomed to failure from the start. If MLS and Minn U had approved the deal months in advance and negotiated throughout the legislative session, I think they probably would’ve come to an agreement. Even with the late notice, there were quite a few people receptive to it, largely because they realized it was a chance to turn an economic wasteland into a place that actually generates money and without the stadium, there would be no development at the site for at least 10 years, if ever.