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Two Ramsey County Tax Issues

The Pioneer Press ran two letters to the editor on the 13th that had something to do with the public financing. First, a guy begging to have a Vikings stadium subsidized a rate of $1 million per regular season home game. Ever game. For 30 years.

Build a Vikings stadium in Arden Hills

A Vikings stadium in Arden Hills offers a fabulous opportunity to develop a large unused parcel of land in our community. It would create thousands of jobs and provide tremendous revenue to both the city and state, while maintaining the Twin Cities as a world-class metropolitan area. The project would bring thousands of people to our community, thereby increasing hotel, rental car and hospitality income.

The $1.1 billion cost is really not as large as it seems. With the Vikings paying $437 million, the remaining cost to the public is $663 million. The principal and interest cost on a $663 million, 30-year mortgage at 3 percent interest is $33,542,817 per year.

Studies by RSM McGladrey and Mortenson Construction/CSL International have confirmed that the revenue generated to the state and county from a new Vikings stadium through taxes on players salaries, income taxes on the Vikings, merchandise and sales tax revenue, etc., is approximately $26 million per year. This makes the net cost to the public less than $8 million per year. And, after 30 years, it’s all free.

Come on Minnesota; build it and we will come.

Douglas D. McMillan, St. Paul

Coincidentally, that letter writer is a right-wing dude who’s campaign contributions include Michele Bachmann, Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson, and Christine O’Donnell out in Deleware. Another example of a person that believes in small government except when it comes to providing corporate Wilfare for his personal entertainment needs wants.

Then, a District 622 school board member had the nerve to ask voters to maintain the current tax levy to operate the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale schools:

Students are depending on voters

On Nov. 8, community members will have an opportunity to renew their support for the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale schools.

Renewing the operating levy will continue our local contribution to the education of our children with no increase in our property taxes.

Without this local tax levy, we face drastic budget reductions that will affect the quality of our schools. This is more than simple belt-tightening. We are facing a possible scenario of students jammed into classrooms, children assigned to different schools, opportunities for art, music and athletics diminished and our school operations restructured. Losing $10 million a year out of our budget would be devastating.

Please don’t let this happen. Schools are the core of our community. Our students depend on us. Vote yes on Nov. 8.

Nancy Livingston, North St. Paul

The writer is a member of the District 622 School Board.

Is the role of government education or entertainment? I’d lean toward educating people, since people seem to have plenty of entertainment options without subsidizing private entertainment businesses. But, in the end, the people can decide what’s in their own best interests must vote on education funding, while having stadium funding shoved down their throats.

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