Other Local Teams Object to Stadium Memorabilia Tax

A 10 percent tax on the sale of pro sports memorabilia is being pitched to help pay for the state's share of the Vikings' stadium, but other local sports teams are reportedly less than thrilled with the idea.

As the state looks to resolve how it would pay its $300 million portion of the proposed new $1.1 billion Vikings stadium in Arden Hills, two proposed taxes have reportedly received backlash from other local teams and NFL players.

According to the Star Tribune, one of the proposed options is a 10 percent tax on the sale of all pro sports memorabilia in Minnesota-an idea that the Twins and Wild deem unfair.

“Our fans are going to be taxed to build a Vikings' stadium,” Jeff Pellegrom, the Wild's chief financial officer, told the Star Tribune. “I don't see the fairness in that.

The Twins agree with Pellegrom. Twins spokesman Kevin Smith told the Star Tribune that the tax would make Twins merchandise “unaffordable” for many fans.

Revised state estimates show that the memorabilia tax would bring in about $8.1 million annually, well below an earlier estimate of $17.6 million, according to the Star Tribune.

The other tax option-a 5 percent surcharge on the income earned by NFL players during games at the new stadium-also reportedly has opponents, with some saying that it could violate constitutional standards.

David Larson, a professor at Hamline University Law School, told the Star Tribune that pro athletes “already are being taxed at a rate consistent with other income earners in the state,” adding that taxing people within an income group is “problematic.”

Click here to read more in the Star Tribune about the opposition of the proposed taxes.