Dayton's 'secret' stadium finance plan includes cigarette, corporate taxes

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Gov. Mark Dayton's back-up source of funding for the state's portion of the nearly $1 billion Vikings Stadium will rely on revenues from cigarette and corporate income tax.

The Star Tribune reports Myron Frans, commissioner of revenue, explained the plan to the Tax Conference Committee Thursday.

Dayton is proposing a one-time increase in cigarette excise tax from $1.23 per pack to $2.52 per pack, the same as Wisconsin's tax, effective July 1. The increase is expected to generate $24.5 million on current inventory that would go directly into a stadium reserve account.

The second part of the plan proposed closing a corporate tax loophole, FOX 9 reports.

The Star Tribune say the second source would be to end what Frans called a "tax avoidance" strategy that corporations with sales in Minnesota and elsewhere take advantage of under current law. Frans said some businesses are able to avoid taxes by attributing Minnesota sales to affiliates in other states.

"We want to say that if you have $15 million in sales in Minnesota, you should pay tax on all that $15 million in sales," Frans tells MPR.

Those revenues would be approximately $26 million in the first year and $20 million each year after that.

Both the cigarette excise tax and the corporate income tax provisions were already part of the plan for this year’s tax bill, MPR says. The only change is that they’re now being earmarked for the Vikings stadium.

The backup game plan was developed to make up for the expected shortfalls in revenue from e-bingo and e-pull tabs.

The state of Minnesota is committed to paying $348 million for the new Vikings stadium.

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