Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The devil and Sandy Pappas

It's official:
"I would sell my soul for transit," said Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, a supporter of a proposed light-rail line from Minneapolis to St. Paul.
Not to be outdone by Hennepin County's $1 billion sales tax for the roofless Twins stadium and other boondoggles, the Senate DFL is proposing a $13 billion, seven-county sales tax for two retractable roof stadia for the Twins and Vikings, $12 billion of which would go for mass transit projects.

In both cases, the public subsidy for billionaire professional sports teams is only a small fraction of the total tax being proposed — the tip of the iceberg!

Some of these politicians would sell their souls to spend your money on their pet boondoggle. This is why state law requires a referendum before local units of government can levy or raise a local option sales tax. In the case of a county tax, cities will get stuck paying it on their purchases, which will result in increased property taxes.

County sales tax increase = Property tax increase.

Minnesota taxpayers need the Taxpayers League of Minnesota now more than ever.


lloydletta said...

The Hennepin County Tax Increase is a bad idea..... As is the metro wide tax with more in there.

I happen to support funding for transit - I'd like to see more light rail lines. I love having the Hiawatha line for getting to and from the airport. It's competitive in time with using the shuttle. In my opinion, transit is a legitimate function of government - and Stadiums are not.

But tossing stadiums and transit together isn't the way to do it. And this should go for a referendum.

Sen. Linda Higgins told me that in the bills introduced, cities are exempt from the sales tax (I assume this means exempt from the increase in the sales tax).

The Taxpayer League should have been out there opposing the Hennepin County plan - but for some reason they took a pass at that one. Craig Westover said it well - the reason Governor Pawlenty supported the Hennepin County Twins plan was the taxpayers it would affect would be mostly democrats - and I think that's bad tax policy.

Still, I'd like to see a bill introduced that would get cities exempt from state sales tax period. That would be more local control. My question is what does Minneapolis pay in, vs what do they get in LGA?

lloydletta said...

Also in this editorial:


The Transit Twins bill does make one point loud and clear. The governor and legislators should not sign away their flexibility and responsibility to interest groups, either by swearing off taxes or by promising new spending.

No new taxes, the Senate Democrats are saying, means no new stadium.

EY: Well said.