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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Time to make a decision

    [size=18px]Time to make a decision[/size]

    Wilf addresses stadium issue

    Gary Giombetti
    The Daily Tribune
    Tuesday, April 18th, 2006 11:28:48 PM


    CHISHOLM — As the saying goes, there’s no time like the present. That’s

    what Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf is hoping anyway.

    Wilf, who bought the Vikings last year from Red McCombs, was at Valentini’s Supper Club in Chisholm Monday, talking about his proposed new stadium project in Anoka County.

    Right now, all stadium proposals are being considered in the state Legislature and all three have been given a legislative priority — the Minnesota Gophers first, Minnesota Twins second and then the Vikings.

    All three bills have been received positively, but when politics comes into play, anything can happen.

    Wilf is hoping the politics on the stadiums runs its course, so construction can begin on the multimillion dollar project.

    “This is Minnesota’s team and I’m just a guardian,” Wilf said of the Vikings. “We’d like to make it a competitive team, and we’re making great headway in that area. We also want to be competitive with the stadium to get the players and fans here.”

    Wilf, whose parents were survivors of the Holocaust, was brought up to believe that quality of life matters, whether it’s in the schools, parks or college and professional athletics.

    “These are the things we can enjoy,” Wilf said. “We can build lasting memories. Sports is an important part of my life, both participating and watching.”

    But with only a few weeks left in the legislative session, Wilf is hoping this issue moves along without any trouble.

    “The window of opportunity is shrinking,” he said. “We have the opportunity to build stadiums for the Gophers, Twins and Vikings.”

    Money always seems to be the sticking point with most stadium proposals.

    The owner is willing to put up $270 million, while a small Anoka County-only sales tax for the Vikings stadium will generate the rest.

    The property taxes of the new facility are then expected to generate an additional $10 to $12 million annual for Anoka County.

    The project, which is called Northern Lights, will create thousands of jobs during the construction of the stadium, then there will be thousands of service jobs created once it’s opened.

    “It’s a tremendous benefit for the county of Anoka,” Wilf said. “This session is critical to create thousands of jobs and to have that enjoyment of something everyone can be proud of. I’m looking forward to it. This stadium will ensure that quality of life.”

    Wilf’s plan includes a retractable roof so the stadium can hold concerts, the Super Bowl and possibly a Final Four. The Vikings’

    practice facility will be there, along with retail space that will be bigger than the Mall of America.

    The seating capacity of the stadium will be 68,000 and that can be expanded to 72,000, which is the minimum requirement to host a Super Bowl.

    “The project is evolving as we speak,” Wilf said. “It’s a one-billion-dollar investment. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We can create jobs and a quality of life. We might as well do it right now.”

    How will the rest of the stadium be paid for? Through a local sales tax.

    Property taxes will not be affected.

    But that’s part of the problem with the Legislature. Wilf already has the OK by the Anoka County Board to go ahead with the project, but the Legislature is quarreling about the sales tax. What some lawmakers want is Anoka County residents to vote on the Vikings stadium-related sales tax and also for Hennepin County residents to vote on a Minnesota Twins-related sales tax. The Hennepin County Board has already given the green light to the county-only tax for a Twins ballpark.

    State law requires the Legislature to sign off on such local sales tax increases. Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty has said he prefers that local referendums are then held, but has indicated recently a softening on that position.

    “The counties have stepped up to institute a sales tax for the cities,” Wilf said. “That’s the point that has been misunderstood. The construction of these three issues is centered around the word referendum.

    “We’ve had the partnership with Anoka County for more than a year. They have felt strongly and voted for this economic impetus and the jobs it brings and the taxes it generates for the community.

    “This could be an economic engine that the Metro North area has been committed to the last few years. This will be a world-class facility for the Metro North area.”

    Wilf is hoping to have the complex open by the 2010 or 2011 season.

    “We’re optimistic it will get done,” he said. “There are three stadiums they have to discuss over the next three weeks. The Gophers have the momentum, so do we and the Twins.

    “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to solve all three at one time. Now should be the time,” he said.

    Time to make a decision

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    Ltrey33 is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Time to make a decision

    I think a local sales tax is a great way to pay for the stadium. People get all bent out of shape over property taxes, and I don't necessarily blame them for that. Some people, depending on appraisal and things like that, really get hosed on the whole property tax deal. With a sales tax though, there is no room for complaint. It's also fair because the people who buy a lot pay more, and the people who are poorer and can't afford as much pay less. I just hope the legislature gets their heads out of their asses and passes the stadium bill!

  3. #3
    mnjamie's Avatar
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    Re: Time to make a decision

    [size=18px]GET IT DONE, DAMMIT !!!!![/size]

  4. #4
    Zeus's Avatar
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    Re: Time to make a decision

    "Ltrey33" wrote:
    I think a local sales tax is a great way to pay for the stadium. People get all bent out of shape over property taxes, and I don't necessarily blame them for that. Some people, depending on appraisal and things like that, really get hosed on the whole property tax deal. With a sales tax though, there is no room for complaint. It's also fair because the people who buy a lot pay more, and the people who are poorer and can't afford as much pay less. I just hope the legislature gets their heads out of their asses and passes the stadium bill!
    And isn't it like 3cents on every $20 spent? I mean - come ON, already!

    =Z=

    Thanks to Josdin for the awesome sig!

  5. #5
    damien927's Avatar
    damien927 is offline Asst. Coach
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    Re: Time to make a decision

    How can so many people be opposed to this? They are worried about paying less than $50 per year to reap all the benefits. Like the articel says, 10-12 million in property taxes from the stadium, which can be used for anything the county wants. Not to mention the 9,000 PERMANENT jobs and 4,000 construction jobs for 3 years.... What the hell, this is absurd. Get it over with.

    Thanks Lotza!

  6. #6
    fromos is offline Rookie
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    Re: Time to make a decision

    "Ltrey33" wrote:
    I think a local sales tax is a great way to pay for the stadium.
    Only if the only thing you tax is sales of Vikings tickets and merchandise. Not everybody watches or follows the Vikings, and IMO the people who don't shouldn't be taxed for it.

  7. #7
    whackthepack is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Time to make a decision

    "fromos" wrote:
    "Ltrey33" wrote:
    I think a local sales tax is a great way to pay for the stadium.
    Only if the only thing you tax is sales of Vikings tickets and merchandise. Not everybody watches or follows the Vikings, and IMO the people who don't shouldn't be taxed for it.

    Please be realistic:

    I was taxed to build a new 50 million dollar library downtown Minneapolis.

    I was taxed to build a new Guthrie Theatre for 100 million dollars.

    I was taxed to give Northwest airlines 750 million dollars that was supposed to be a loan, they haven't paid it back and want to discharge it in their bankruptcy.

    How about the cross country ski trails in Minnesota trails, I do not cross country ski.

    how about all the ice skating rinks, I do not ice skate anymore.

    How about public education, I have no kids that are in the public education system.

    How about the welfare and low income assistants programs.

    How about the tax subsidies for the Mall OF America and the Tax breaks for the new Best Buy campus.



    All of these are thing that I do not use, should I not be able to vote on them directly?


    Answer: NO

    We elect people to represent us, and they should make the decision on if it is beneficial to the state and local governments. If you do not like their decision, than do not support them in their next election and support their opponent.
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  8. #8
    BadlandsVikings's Avatar
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    Re: Time to make a decision

    Just build it. what's 3 cents when it's a possibility of losing the team and having to pay a buttload more to get a new team in the future.

  9. #9
    Json is offline GM
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    Re: Time to make a decision

    I love the way your broke that down Wackthepack.

    Great way to explain it to people. You are taxed for stuff you don't use all the time.

  10. #10
    Formo's Avatar
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    Re: Time to make a decision

    "whackthepack" wrote:
    "fromos" wrote:
    "Ltrey33" wrote:
    I think a local sales tax is a great way to pay for the stadium.
    Only if the only thing you tax is sales of Vikings tickets and merchandise. Not everybody watches or follows the Vikings, and IMO the people who don't shouldn't be taxed for it.

    Please be realistic:

    I was taxed to build a new 50 million dollar library downtown Minneapolis.

    I was taxed to build a new Guthrie Theatre for 100 million dollars.

    I was taxed to give Northwest airlines 750 million dollars that was supposed to be a loan, they haven't paid it back and want to discharge it in their bankruptcy.

    How about the cross country ski trails in Minnesota trails, I do not cross country ski.

    how about all the ice skating rinks, I do not ice skate anymore.

    How about public education, I have no kids that are in the public education system.

    How about the welfare and low income assistants programs.

    How about the tax subsidies for the Mall OF America and the Tax breaks for the new Best Buy campus.



    All of these are thing that I do not use, should I not be able to vote on them directly?


    Answer: NO

    We elect people to represent us, and they should make the decision on if it is beneficial to the state and local governments. If you do not like their decision, than do not support them in their next election and support their opponent.
    A-friggin'-MEN!!!

    Lets not forget the jobs that having the entire stadium layout will bring to the state either.
    Vegans are eating the rainforests. =(

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