Dayton Wants Cigarette Tax To Cover Vikes Stadium Gap

Friday, May 17th, 2013 at 6:38 am

On Thursday, Gov. Mark Dayton proposed a new backup to bolster the state’s lagging share of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. The Associated Press reports that Dayton wants lawmakers to sign on to use money from a cigarette tax increase.

Dayton’s revenue commissioner unveiled the latest proposal in the House-Senate tax conference committee Thursday. It comes as lawmakers are rushing to try to wrap up this year’s session by Monday.

The state’s $348 million share of the $975 million downtown Minneapolis stadium was supposed to be fueled by tax revenue from new electronic betting games, or e-pull tabs,¬† that last year’s Legislature authorized in bars and restaurants. That revenue stream has failed to even approach projections.

Dayton is now backing a cigarette tax increase from $1.23 per pack now to $2.52, more than he initially proposed. Ironically, smoking will not be allowed at the new Vikings stadium, due to open in time for the 2016 season.

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