St. Paul City Council will vote against sales tax hike

The St. Paul City Council is expected to unanimously vote against a half-cent sales tax hike that would be implemented in Ramsey County to help pay for the cost of a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings in Arden Hills.

The council’s move, however, will have no bearing on what happens. An ordinance could put the sales tax in place despite the protests of the council. As part of the plan to construct a new stadium for the team, the sales tax hike would create $350 million in revenue for the project. The Vikings are expected to pitch in $407 million with the state adding $300 million.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the city council believes St. Paul will bear the brunt of the sales tax hike and it wants to make a public stance.

The rumor we've heard is a deal is imminent so we want to make sure our voice is heard," council president Kathy Lantry said. “I love the Vikings, but ... if they're a statewide asset, then there ought to be a statewide solution.”

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman has proposed a fee of 2 cents per bottle of alcohol across the state so the tax doesn’t just impact Ramsey County.

It’s clear as the attempt to build a stadium continues to falter that this simply might not be the year the Vikings get a deal done. There have been reports that the total cost of the project has been reduced, but right now it’s just talk. No concrete progress has been made.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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