Local politicians respond to stadium deal

Sen. Dave Brown

After more than 10 years of debate, the Minnesota Vikings will have a new football stadium. Despite both Republican area legislators Sen. Dave Brown and Rep. Sondra Erickson voting no on the proposal, it passed the House and Senate last week and Gov. Mark Dayton signed the stadium bill at noon this past Monday.

“I voted no on the stadium bill because I believe the funding mechanism is flawed,” Brown told the Times. “I did support a stadium built with user fees but if the expansion of gambling doesn’t produce the revenue estimated, it leaves us with a tax increase.”

Erickson shared similar views.

“I voted no on the stadium bill and I also voted no on the Twins Stadium,” she said. “The finance package will not work to fulfill the obligation of the taxpayers. Expecting electronic pull-tabs to bring in enough revenue to cover costs of debt service is questionable because they have not worked in any state where it has been tried; Iowa is an example of this.”

Erickson also took issue with some of the other details of the bill.

“There is pork for Minneapolis and St. Paul that has been added to this bill. The tax for the charities increased instead of decreased,” she said. “The team is also getting naming rights. Even though they are putting in $50 million more dollars, it was not a good deal to begin with but it was worse coming out of conference committee.”

She also said her vote mirrored the majority  opinion in her district.

“I received more requests to vote no than to vote yes,” Erickson said.

For the full story, see the Thursday, May 17 print edition of the Times.