Field of Schemes
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April 30, 2004

MN TIF SNAFU

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's tax-increment financing plan to raise $200 million in stadium cash is complex even as TIF plans go, reports Star Tribune economics reporter Mike Meyers. The Twins and Vikings have said they'll make up any shortfall, but it's yet to be negotiated how that would be determined, or whether taxes on non-sports events at the new stadiums would count toward the TIF, or how to account for any reduction in tax receipts at other competing entertainment venues. "All these answers about 'subject to negotiations' give me the willies," says Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First. "It's a very large amount of money over a very long amount of time, and there are a lot of question marks."

Meyers also notes that to generate the necessary $7 million in "new" sales and income taxes at their new homes, the Twins and Vikings would have to increase combined sales and payroll by $100 million each, over and above current levels. That's one heckuva lot of rally horns.

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