If You Oppose Stadium Subsidies, then You Might Be a Deadbeat
Have you ever wondered about the demographics of people who oppose stadium subsidies? Me neither, but here’s something from Savethevikes.org, a stadium proponent website.
As with any public hearing we do expect to hear from opposition on a Vikings stadium and given the time slot, the advantage goes to opponents. We typically see those who are unemployed or on a fixed income advocating against a new stadium because the government isn’t giving them enough. All while the majority of the Vikings 2.5 million fans are working.
Well, at least the author didn’t refer to us pencil-necked, pointy-headed professors – employed professors – who are, at best, skeptical about the value of using taxpayer money to fund a private business. But when you have no case and your back’s against the wall, you whip out the ad-hominem attacks in desperation.
Related: King Banaian, a St. Cloud State (Mn) university economist, a Minnesota state legislator, and former blogger here at TSE tells why the economic impact of the Vikings is typically overstated. From a blog post at the St. Cloud (Mn.) Times.
As state policymakers appear unlikely to make much progress this year on proposals to finance a new stadium with gambling revenues, the Vikings suggested a different approach in Twin Cities newspaper ads last weekend. They’re calling it the “but-for” plan.
The plan would finance a new stadium in part with sales and income tax revenues that the Vikings say wouldn’t exist but for their presence in Minnesota. That includes sales taxes collected inside the new stadium and income taxes paid by Vikings players and employees, and by players from visiting teams.
But Banaian, an economics professor at St. Cloud State University, says there’s a gaping hole in the Vikings’ logic.
The sales and income tax revenues the Vikings generate wouldn’t necessarily disappear if the team left the state, Banaian says. He says at least some of what fans now spend at Vikings games likely would be spent elsewhere in the state – and thus, also generate sales-tax revenue – even if the Vikings left.
The claim that the tax revenues would be lost without the Vikings “is pretty clearly an overstatement,” Banaian said. “It assumes that the fan who doesn’t have the Vikings to go see, sits in their home and does nothing.”
This deadbeat couldn’t put it any better.