Tuesday, May 4, 2010
B & B all over: Pawlenty's opposition
By Kevin Seifert
Obstacles to a new Minnesota stadium emerged within hours of Monday's official legislative announcement. None was bigger than that of Gov. Tim Pawlenty, whose signature would be required for any bill to be enacted.
Pawlenty, and later his chief spokesman, made clear he won't approve any new state taxes as part of the bill. That would seem to put into jeopardy one of the bill's main financing tools: "User fees" on jerseys, hotel rooms, rental cars and the like. Pawlenty said: "We're not going to be raising or dealing with state taxes to subsidize that."
According to the Star Tribune, spokesman Brian McClung added: "We remain opposed to any stadium plan that includes tax increases, including the hotel tax, jersey tax, and rental car tax in one of the plans unveiled today. The governor continues to believe the team needs a local partner to be successful in their effort."
And House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher also expressed significant reservations: "I don't think that I'm going to do anything extraordinary here for this bill," she said. "I'm not sure that this bill is ready for prime time."
Some of this is no doubt political posturing. But there isn't much time; the state legislature adjourns May 17.
Continuing around the NFC North: