Update: Betsy Hodges responded to the proposal Tuesday afternoon:
“These elements constitute a public subsidy, and I do not support a public subsidy for this facility," Hodges said in a statement released by her office.
Original post below:
Backers of a pro-soccer stadium near downtown Minneapolis are seeking a break on property and sales taxes, Gov. Mark Dayton told reporters following a meeting with Dr. Bill McGuire Tuesday.
The sales tax exemption would be on construction materials, Dayton said, to the tune of $2.8 million to $3 million. Dayton said people will be “very very pleasantly surprised” to see the details of the group's public assistance request, compared to planned private funding.
The governor added that he made no commitments to the requests, saying he would like to hear from legislators first. He had previously pronounced his firm objection to a public subsidy, but appeared open to the more indirect subsidy proposal.
He also wants to hear from local leaders. "The property tax relief primarily affects the city and the county, so I need to talk to those leaders to see their view on that," Dayton said.
He added: “The financing questions aside, the fact that they’re willing to put a very significant amount of their own capital into this project – I’m delighted to welcome them to Minnesota and welcome the franchise."
The meeting included McGuire, Bob Pohlad of the Minnesota Twins and Chris Wright of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The investment group includes Glen Taylor, who owns the Timberwolves and the Star Tribune.
McGuire is expected to meet with Dayton, House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk. More details about the plan are expected to be released by the team following those meetings.
“A number of reports have pointed out that we’re really booming with the Millennials around the country," Dayton said. "And this is certainly one of the ways we’re going to make this area more amenable to young people, to people from other countries who have grown up with their version of football.”
McGuire announced several weeks ago, following his receipt of a Major League Soccer franchise, that he would be pursuing a soccer stadium in Minneaopolis' farmers market area. It is expected to cost about $150 million.
The Vikings stadium and Target Field, which are publicly owned, received exemptions from property taxes and taxes on construction materials. Those sales tax exemptions amounted to $18.1 million in the case of Target Field and $22.5 million in the case of the Vikings stadium, according to the state Department of Revenue.
The upcoming renovation of Target Center did not receive an exemption from sales taxes on construction materials, though the city-owned building does not pay property taxes.
It remains unclear if the MLS stadium would be privately owned. Here is the full overview (below) of tax exemptions, outlined by the Department of Revenue.