MANKATO (AP) -- The state stadium task force agreed in principle Thursday on a package of user fees and surcharges to help pay the public portion of any new stadium.
The tentative agreement is a sign the task force is preparing to recommend new stadiums for both baseball's Minnesota Twins and football's Minnesota Vikings. Under some proposals, the Vikings would share a stadium with the University of Minnesota.
"We haven't said that (two stadiums should be built) yet, but it's moving in that direction," said Sen. Roy Terwilliger, R-Edina, a member of the 18- member legislative stadium task force.
Will Haddeland, a co-chairman of the panel, said the notion that "if you can find the financing, there should be two" was unspoken but implicit at the task force's meeting.
The task force is expected to make final recommendations to the Legislature by about Jan. 29, the opening bell for the 2002 session.
In choosing potential revenue sources, panel members said they were trying to devise a plan in which a stadium would be financed only by those who would use it or benefit from it.
The task force's report is scheduled to be adopted at the next meeting, on Tuesday in St. Paul.
Members agreed Thursday that appropriate revenue sources would include:
--An extra sales tax added to the 6 1/2 percent on all professional-sports memorabilia, applied statewide.
--An additional 6 1/2 percent sales tax on food sold at any new stadium.
--Redirection of the 9 percent tax on stadium beer sales to stadium financing. It now goes into the state's general fund.
--Redirection of the income tax paid by visiting players to stadium financing. It now goes into the state's general fund.
--Addition of a surcharge on the income tax paid by home team players and stadium employees.
The task force, on a close nonbinding vote, turned down the use of profits from non-Indian casinos for stadium financing. It may revisit the matter at Tuesday's meeting.
Rep. Mary Holberg, R-Lakeville, was skeptical of almost all the funding options, including the surcharges aimed at stadium users. Holberg predicted that she would be joined by most members of the House in opposing a diversion of the income taxes paid by visiting players because those revenues go into the state's general fund.
"We certainly don't want to make the deficit larger," Holberg said, referring to a projected deficit of nearly $2 billion.
But task force member Rep. Tom Osthoff, DFL-St. Paul, said the $2.4 million collected each year from visiting Major League Baseball players will be lost anyway if the Twins fold.
State Planning Director Dean Barkley, one of Gov. Jesse Ventura's representatives on the task force, said the governor also would be likely to resist diverting revenue from the general fund.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.