Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak delivered seven "yes" City Council votes for his Minnesota Vikings stadium plan Tuesday night in a test vote that followed two hours of public testimony.
The vote adds Rybak's stadium plan to the city's lobbying agenda, a largely symbolic measure that reaffirms to lawmakers at the State Capitol that Minneapolis has enough support to pass the final legislation. Rybak has proposed using existing sales taxes -- a citywide sales tax, downtown liquor and restaurant taxes and a hotel tax -- to pay for the city's share of a new Vikings stadium at the Metrodome site.
The city has pledged $150 million for construction and $189 million for operations. But at a public hearing Tuesday, the city's chief finance officer said the city's contribution would actually amount to $675 million when accounting for interest payments.
"I think that's the first time publicly that dollar figure has ever been released," said Council Member Gary Schiff, an opponent of the mayor's plan.
Opponents frequently criticized the lack of a citywide vote, which they said clashes with a Minneapolis charter provision requiring a referendum when the city spends more than $10 million on a stadium. The mayor and the city attorney say that referendum isn't legally triggered by the tax plan.
Some versions of the state legislation nullify that part of the charter. On a 7-6 split vote, the council rejected a proposal to oppose such nullifications. Council President Barb Johnson, a supporter of the stadium plan, said the charter nullification was necessary to allow for Target Center upgrades.
Eric Roper • 612-673-1732 Twitter: @StribRoper