The state will give the Minneapolis about $33 million over several years to help pay off debt on the downtown library, per a last-minute addition to the state tax bill at the Legislature.
Rep. Jim Davnie said the provision will supply about $4.7 million a year between 2016 and 2025. City voters approved borrowing $140 million in 2000 to build the facility, which now stands at 3rd Street and Nicollet Mall, and improve community libraries.
The addition to the tax bill was a tit-for-tat of sorts. It came after the state agreed to forgive loans on the Xcel Energy Center, located in St. Paul.
“It’s a recognition that the downtown library is really a statewide asset in terms of its collections, services and profile,” said Davnie, DFL-Minneapolis.
“The state stepped up and helped out the Xcel Center this year because that’s a statewide asset. It just happens to be located in the city of St. Paul. The downtown library is a statewide asset that just happens to be located in the city of Minneapolis.”
The downtown library, known as the Minneapolis Central Library, opened in 2006. Its unique structure was designed by architect Cesar Pelli. The library is part of the Hennepin County Library system, which consumed the city's own system in 2008.
The city recently refinanced the bonds and reduced the life of the debt service to the library.