How Downtown is Defined for Downtown Minneapolis Taxes #wilfare

If the current Vikings stadium Wilfare bill were to pass in its current form, you would find yourself paying a 3% tax on restaurants and liquor sales 365 days per year withinn the area outlined below:


When I had a grilled cheese for lunch at Republic at 7 Corners today (excellent spot), that 3% went toward paying off the convention. In the future, it would go toward paying what Wilf and Vikings fans refuse to pay to build a new stadium that they claim to want. That claim falls around $550 million short of their budget.

Go to Pracna for to help support a billionaire in NJ.

Go to Joe’s Garage for a dollop of wilfare on your mashed potatoes.

Grab a bite at Britt’s before a show at the Orpheum to help subsidize Vikings season ticket holders.

Take your prom date to the Nicollet Island Inn so Lester Bagley can get a raise.

Do your part to help redistribute money from Minneapolis to an NFL franchise owner in New Jersey.

We need to make locally owned businesses less affordable so we can afford to make debt payments on public money (Wilfare) demanded by an out of state business.

By the way, why should we extract money from the public over such a large area, and on the 355 days when the Vikings aren’t playing in Minneapolis?

If the Vikings truly have a huge economic impact, why not just tax that rather than people eating and drinking for reasons entirely detached from the NFL?

21 thoughts on “How Downtown is Defined for Downtown Minneapolis Taxes #wilfare”

  1. “We need to make locally owned businesses less affordable so we can afford to make debt payments on public money (Wilfare) demanded by an out of state business.”======= If that extra 3 percents busts a budget, that person probably shouldn’t be eating in those places to begin with.

  2. OK, so let’s break it down to the basics. You are saying that $60 meal that is now $61.80 is “less affordable.” I suppose that could be a factor. But you’ve now introduced another element called Contentious(sic) Consuming which really has nothing to do with affordability, but a principled choice of some kind. How many people do you think would make that extra 3 percent their stand? Would you?

  3. Here Rat–I eat in the zone alot, because it is convenient to my current lifestyle (which has nothing to do with pro sports) and my estimate of 2011 3% tax is $180.

    Does that help you understand the principle?

  4. $6k on restaurants and liquor? — my, my. Does this 3 percent currently go the convention center funding or is this something new?

    @Mike. Will you be changing you dining habits if this goes through?

  5. Remember: the 3 percent tax is in addition to the taxes already being paid. It’s more of a burden on the business owner than the consumer. As this 3 percent will likely not shutter businesses, it may prevent future businesses from deciding to locate in the downtown market.

    Furthermore, in my opinion, it doesn’t matter if the tax is 3 percent or 1 percent, we shouldn’t be publicly financing a sports stadium. It is not, and should not be, within the scope of government to provide a home or a professional football team.

    Good post Ed. -Nate

  6. I would also like to point out that if this funding source shifts from the convention center to the stadium, then what will fund the interest payments and pay down the principal on the Convention Center? Now, instead of being in debt for a football stadium, we’ve got an aging convention center on our hands.

  7. I wonder if Rybak would agree with some of the arguments extended here. After all Rybak snatched the stadium discussion out of the hands of Arden Hills, he must have some logic for doing this.

    I suspect Rybak would tell you that the 3% is going to be offset with other benefits. Those benefits include an enrichment of the economic zone near the stadium. This increases property values and the incremental taxes reduce the burden on Minneapolis residents. In effect, the people who live outside of the city and dine or drink downtown do pay the 3%, but Minneapolis residents absorb something less.

    Downtown also hosts a large workforce of suburban commuters who are big restaurant customers
    every workday. It’s for Wilfare, no doubt about it, but the burden ain’t all in the pocketbooks of city
    residents.

    Generally, I don’t like the idea of taxing food, but eating in restaurants is usually a choice. The idea of taxing liquor sales is a bit easier to justify. I wonder how much of Other Mikes monthly restaurant bill is actually for consuming alcoholic beverages in the affected locations–while writing his posts for the Deets blog??? How else would the silk road argument evolved??

  8. Come into town some day Rick and we can do a tour of “how The Other Mike spends his way around Mpls.”

    I can guarantee you won’t even see Arden Hills, which is why that proposal died and had nothing to do with Rybak ‘snatching’ it…it was forced onto Mpls by the massive volume of debt it would have loaded onto the backs of Ramsey County. Even corrupted officials and ruling elite saw how silly that was and convinced Zygiworld it wouldn’t happen.

  9. I have a friend I occasionally meet downtown for a beer. He always insists on The Loop Bar on Washington. It is apparently just outside the border. He lives in Plymout and refuses to pay the downtown tax.

  10. What do you have against The Loop, Ed?

    And for the love of god, rotate that map 90 degrees counter clockwise, my neck hurts!

    I find this kind of stuff fascinating: why the map was drawn to include or not include certain areas. Personally, I think the 3% tax on food is a horrible idea. On one hand the city wants to double the downtown population. On the other hand they want to indefinitely extend these food and liquor taxes.

    My preference/compromise would be to eliminate the 3% tax on food, while extending the geographic extent of the booze tax to include all of the North Loop, Dinkytown, and the downtown Nordeast/E. Hennepin area. I would leave the Elliot Park neighborhood omitted, as it is now.

  11. As I understand this document, a professional sporting event does not fall under the category of “live entertainment”, thereby avoiding another potential 3% tax. I can almost confirm this to be true, as I worked at Target Field in the Metropolitan Club and once calculated the taxes on drinks to be roughly 13%. (precisely 13.275% according to this document)

    The maximum sales tax rate that one could pay downtown, for alcoholic drinks, at an establishment with currently occurring “live entertainment” is 16.275%. Well, now I know why the drinks at First Ave cost so much!

  12. @Matty B, I think I’m some combination of too old or too married to fully appreciate The Loop.

    Extending the tax zone to a larger portion of Minneapolis increases the likelihood that that people to are not in town to watch a Vikings game pay the tax. I’d prefer to see the tax increased significantly, but only applies on days of major events at the stadium. Better yet: use ticket fees.

  13. MinnPost sez Mpls City Council to hold hearing and vote on the Stadium on April 24.

    Will someone give Ed a BULLHORN to express his views on Wilfare??

    Is this going to be the event where the majority of opponents show up and protest? Or will nobody really care much?

  14. The real problem Rixk is not the political games, it is the real economics that are gamed by the banksters.

    Here is why I suggest creating a State Bank of MN instead of continuing to feed the banksters–
    http://real-economics.blogspot.com/2012/04/ellen-brown-on-canada-and-austerity.html

    Money quotes =
    ”Why are governments paying private financiers to generate credit they could be issuing themselves, interest-free?”

    ”Between 1939 and 1974, the government actually did borrow from its own central bank. That made its debt effectively interest-free, since the government owned the bank and got the benefit of the interest.”

    If people are ready to get off their bottoms instead of subsidizing 24/7 pro sports, here is where they need to put their new-found political courage…in getting their legislators to create a state bank that supports state industry/citizens and not corporatized pro sports and international banksters.

  15. @Other Mike

    I am not qualified to comment on your economics epistles way back in 1939. You will have to seek feedback from ED. Perhaps he has enough influence with the House Commerce committee to plead your case for the Ladyslipper State Bank which could fund numerous political pet projects as well.

    I sure hope you and Ed can go to the April 24 council meeting and tell them to put politics aside and just give Ziggy what he wants. The way I see it, is if Ed is even partially right about the potential of personal seat licenses, Ziggy might not have to put any of his money into a stadium deal if he gets a lot for stadium naming rights and raises the price of beer to 15 bucks and charges fans for tail-gating.

  16. Rick, this is not hard to figure out. We in Minnesota are diminishing our own economic power by investing in extractive business (NFL) using an extractive financing model (Goldman-Sachs). Both strip away local monies to NYC that will never be re-invested back in MN, thus no matter how the stadium is financed (via taxes or gambling), Minnesota loses.

    I find it disappointing when you characterize this as an epistle from 1939 for Ladyslipper banking for funding pet projects. Luckily, I can’t imagine many readers being fooled by such, it is just sad to see…on top of all the other sad to see proposals and machinations used to try to hide the complete lack of ROI on this billion dollar boondoggle for a past peak NFL.

    I too hope all the public meetings coming up will yield some good discussions with good citizen involvement. Certainly it seems the politicos are fresh out of ideas, so an active and aware citizenry is critical toward finding better uses for these funds than to piss them away subsidizing a private entertainment business.

  17. @other Mike

    Yep, you need to get your legislators to start the charter application for a State owned bank tomorrow.

    I sure wish Ed or somebody else would speak to the merits of your posts. I am not qualified.

  18. Rick, how are you not qualified? You are qualified to be a citizen…you are able to read and make judgements and offer your opinion…what is missing, what is stopping you?

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