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One-time tobacco tax money in the bank for new Vikings stadium

Posted by: under Minnesota legislature, State budgets Updated: August 20, 2013 - 2:44 PM

The state has secured the money to pay the first year’s debt on the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

A one-time tax on tobacco inventory brought in $30 million, about $3.5 million more than state leaders agreed to set aside for the state’s first bond payment on the $975 million new stadium.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue reports that the money will be available Sept. 1, which is months before construction begins on the new stadium.

Current projections show that state will need about $20 million for the first year's bond payment and then about $33.5 million a year after that for the life of the bonds.

Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans said those payments could change slightly once the February forecast is known and after they lock in an interest rate when they sell the stadium bonds this fall.

State leaders turned to the one-time tobacco tax after the initial stadium funding source, revenue from new electronic pull-tabs and bingo games, fell profoundly short of estimates.

Frans said the one-time tobacco inventory tax is the only cigarette money going to the stadium. The state ended a corporate tax break and will set aside that money to pay the rest of the state’s share of the new stadium.

The additional $3.5 million from the one-time tobacco tax will also go into the state’s general fund.


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