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Mall of America plan needs refining to pass Pawlenty test

  • April 30, 2008 - 2:02 PM

Gov.  Tim Pawlenty is withholding outright endorsement of state-authorized public subsidies for a Mall of America expansion, saying he wants to see the plan refined.

The megamall proposal is gaining steam at the Capitol after all four leaders of the Legislature said Tuesday they will work to get a package passed.

The $2.1 billion project carries an expectation of $371 million in public financial help.

The mall's owner is seeking to divert property tax dollars generated from the expansion to pay for a parking ramp. Lawmakers are also being asked to allow Bloomington to raise sales, food and lodging taxes for the project.

But Pawlenty isn't sold on the property tax diversion and says it needs to be examined more closely.

He says it could lead to a parade of real-estate developers seeking similar treatment for their projects, such as a new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

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