Spare a few dimes for the Mayo Clinic’s expansion? You just did.
State officials confirmed Monday that they’ve sent the first payment of taxpayer dollars to the city of Rochester to support the clinic’s 20-year, $5.6 billion plan to grow its campus, remake the downtown neighborhood and burnish the state’s reputation as a global leader in medical care.
The public dollars were promised by the Legislature back in 2013, but the Mayo Clinic and private investors had to make the first move by plowing $200 million into the plan first. The state confirmed earlier this year that that threshold had been crossed.
The money does not go directly to the Mayo Clinic, but to the city of Rochester for infrastructure work related to the clinic’s expansion.
This year’s payment, which Rochester’s finance director said he expects to see Tuesday, represents a 2.75 percent match for private investment dollars beyond the first $200 million. The payment is roughly half a dollar for every person in the state.
Each year’s match will carry over to the next year, with a maximum annual state contribution of $30 million.
Often called the state’s largest ever economic development project, the Mayo Clinic’s “Destination Medical Center” expansion includes $3.5 billion of investment from Mayo itself, an estimated $2.1 billion of private investment and $585 million in public support.
The payoff, according to the Mayo Clinic, will come in the form of tens of thousands of new jobs, some $1.9 billion to $2.2 billion in new tax revenue over a 20-year period, and the burnishing of the state’s medical reputation.
The state pledged support for the project in 2013 after Mayo’s CEO John Noseworthy warned that the hospital’s needed expansion could take place somewhere other than Minnesota. He told legislators at the time that he didn’t want to see the hospital leave its Rochester roots.