Committee chair wants stadium taxes on jerseys, box seats

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The chair of a key legislative panel wants Minnesota to levy a tax on sports memorabilia and high-priced seats at pro games to help pay for the new Vikings stadium.

Bloomington DFLer Ann Lenczewski says the House Taxes Committee will take up her proposal Wednesday.

Lenczewski says extending the sales tax to souvenirs and luxury suites will supplement revenue from electronic pull tabs. In the first several months of those games, revenue was coming in at less than ten percent of projections.

Vikings executive Lester Bagley says he's not had time to review Lenczewski's proposal but tells WCCO that the stadium deal approved last year included a promise that the state would not cut into revenue that would otherwise go to the team.

Governor Dayton is optimistic e-pull tab revenue will recover once the games make their way into more restaurants and bars. WCCO reports he told NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell over the weekend that the slow rollout of the games has kept revenue down.

That lagging revenue has revived long-unheeded calls to install slot machines at the state's two horse racing tracks. But even the larger of those tracks, Canterbury Park in Shakopee, seems unlikely to get behind that idea, given its lucrative agreement with neighboring Mystic Lake Casino.

Minnesota has agreed to put $348 million toward the $975 million cost of a new Vikings stadium on the site of the Metrodome in Minneapolis. The bonds are due to be sold in August with an October groundbreaking.

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