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March 27, 2007

In case you missed it

The Pioneer Press reported today:

Hennepin County board officials announced today they will conduct a closed legal briefing at 2 p.m. Friday on the Minnesota Twins ballpark issue, signaling that a breakthrough in a land dispute may be close.

Following the private meeting, the board will convene in public at 3 p.m. Friday.

Commissioner Mike Opat also is expected to present a resolution at today's board meeting to use the Government Center on April 5 for the unveiling of the ballpark's design.

Not that any of us are surprised by this news. I stopped worrying about this two weeks ago.

And on a related note, I've read some negative comments out there concerning the new Pioneer Press web site, but I must admit I don't agree with them. I like the new Pioneer Press web site. I think it is much better than the old one. Their old web site looked and functioned like it was put together by a 12 year old. This new web site is a vast improvement, and I know all about vast improvements.

Back to the stadium, though ... it looks like it will be over soon, Machiners. Maybe we should have another party!

Posted by snackeru at March 27, 2007 10:28 PM

Comments

i'll be there the last week of may...save a beer for me

Posted by: kevin in az at March 28, 2007 12:10 AM

Finally! Now we can all mock and ridicule the "Calamity under the canopy" aka "Pohlad's pride and joy" without the fear that our poignant observations are for naught.

Posted by: STM at March 28, 2007 6:52 AM

Doesn't sound like it is over to me.

Moving forward with a quick take condemnation without any deal for Pohlad to pay the difference just means something else will have to be cut out of the stadium to pay for the higher land cost and cost over runs popping into view.

Oh, we wanted chairs with that stadium?

This thing is going to be such a poor man's monstrosity, if it ever gets built, that within 10 years the team will be whining again about needing a better stadium or they will leave.

Posted by: jesse at March 28, 2007 7:37 AM

Well, jesse, that is a pretty pessimistic viewpoint, but probably somewhat accurate if Pohlad doesn't agree to pick up the difference. What none of us should assume is that this is the only problem we will encounter as the stadium is being built. Truly, this is only the first hurdle of probably about 20. Should be an interesting three years.

Posted by: Shane at March 28, 2007 7:42 AM

Why not display the thing at MOA? (where the lion share of the revenue is being generated) or someplace else that people are willing to travel to and see? The government center!?!? proof that this thing is more a monument to themselves than an amenity for the people.

98% of the people paying for this thing will only see it in pictures. Nobody will go downtown to see this mock up. What a joke!

Posted by: Kaz at March 28, 2007 8:08 AM

ballpark digest:

"If you've been comparing Ballpark Digest's recent coverage of the prospects of a new Minnesota Twins ballpark and the Minneapolis Star Tribune coverage, you may notice the Strib's coverage has been decidedly more pessimistic, even to the point of saying no deal was forthcoming in a story late last week. Perhaps it's because we're a little more wired into what happening, but last week multiple sources told us a deal was eminent, followed by Jerry Bell's public announcement that the Twins were going ahead with a design unveiling on April 5. By comparison, the Star Tribune continued to be far more pessimistic about a deal coming together -- until today, when beat reporter Mike Kaszuba finally reported a deal was indeed nigh. Now, when it comes to ballpark politics in Minnesota Lord knows there are many with axes to grind, and in general Star Tribune reporting on the subject in recent years has been very anti-ballpark, and the Twins share the blame for some of it. In this case, though, multiple sources simply chose to bypass the Star Tribune in getting their word out. Hennepin County has scheduled a closed-door meeting for Friday to discuss the land deal, we've been told by insiders."

Posted by: mullen at March 28, 2007 8:32 AM

The MOA is a good place to do it, but don't forget that there is no sales tax on clothes; perhaps the item that generates the most revenue at the MOA.

Downtown Minneapolis is still the economic core of the metro area and the county, so that is probably their reasoning.

Guys, this stadium will be great, we will love it, the Twins are going to be far more involved in design now that they are paying more money for it. And, Jerry Bell will not allow this to be anything less than ideal, because he wants to generate profits for his team. The Twins already have to look at the Wild as a local team with the best facility in their league...and they have learned from the Wild how to do this thing right.

And remember the most important reason: it keeps the Twins here 30 years...not a 15-year lease like at the Dome.

Posted by: Derek Robertson at March 28, 2007 8:34 AM

Great! 30 more years! That's 4,860 meaningless games in contest dominated by a select few; 30 seasons of the Twins being "out of it" by the 4th of July; 20 years of complaining that "we're a small market that just can't compete with Yanks and Sox" so we're obliged to just enjoy the game; 10 more seasons of "We need an indoor stadium to appease the out of towners" and; the final 3 years of this deal spent watching another mistake being built somewhere.

Somebody cue Elton John; "its the ciiiiirrrrcle of life....."

Yea!

Posted by: STM at March 28, 2007 8:44 AM

Shane, wouldn't the county not even be moving forward with condemnation if they didn't have an agreement with the Twins to bridge the gap? I assumed this would fall through if that agreement was not in place.

Therefore, I don't think we should worry about this being built on the cheap, and without the necessary amenities, should we?

Posted by: mlb2131 at March 28, 2007 8:47 AM

Opat has been quoted in a previous article as saying some infrastructure won't be built which has led me to believe that the Twins might be as helpful as we thought. Truth be told, we just don't know, and we won't know, until the details of the agreement are released. I'm confident that some agreement has been reached, but it might not be exactly what the County wanted or thought it needed to do the job (the way that Opat wants the job done). We'll just have to see.

Personally, I am willing to concede that some infrastructure will be sacrificed. This is probably naive, but please just get this ballpark built!

Posted by: Shane at March 28, 2007 8:51 AM

Shane - this "get-it-built-itis" you're suffering from hopefully doesn't extend to Oputz and the rest of the HC commissioners. They're obligated NOT to assume more risk or expose the County to any previously unconsidered risks. That's a sure fire formula for failure.

I may be opposed to building this in the first place, but if it isn't done right? then nobody wins and that's NOT a good result.

Posted by: STM at March 28, 2007 8:57 AM

Shane,
Did Molly ever hire those ninja monkey's to attack you after that "vast improvement" comment?

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at March 28, 2007 9:06 AM

True, STM. I should clarify. It is my opinion that whatever has been agreed upon is probably near the minimum of what Opat would accept as a risk. The Twins have probably agreed to pick up a large portion of the gap between what the county has to spend on the land and what the land actually costs, but since we don't know what that gap will be we just don't know what infrastructure will be sacrificed (if any). The Twins also probably made clear that they have their limits and that will be reflected in the agreement, I'm sure.

Opat and the county board are making a decision based on potential risks that no one really knows about. But they have enough assurances that these risks have been minimized. But again, this is just speculation on my part.

While we all would like the absolute best ballpark experience possible, the condemnation will start the process towards an unknown cost for the land. The Twins and the County have an agreement that could cover the gap, but if it doesn't some infrastructure will be sacrificed.

I am hoping that it won't be necessary, but I am confident that if that is the case, the ballpark will still probably be pretty spectacular. Again, this may be naive, but that is why I'm not in charge.

Posted by: Shane at March 28, 2007 9:07 AM

nothing would be the right way for you. i always find it humorous how the anti-type dolts couch their negativism by saying things have to to be "done right" or not at all. they could build this thing with every amenity and come in under budget and that wouldn't satisfy you. "price is right" comes on soon, better get back to your couch.

Posted by: mullen at March 28, 2007 9:09 AM

mullen - you're an angry young man (aren't you supposed to be in school by the way, or are you skipping again?)

Anyway, for all you "stadium heads" here's something you wished for. Check out the sound bite around 1:25 in the attached link. Be ready for this "reason" everytime your taxes go up! Except for mullen - FYI you actually have to earn money and spend it to be affected by a tax. Go back to bed!

http://www.kare11.com/video/player.aspx?aid=44824&bw=

Posted by: STM at March 28, 2007 9:21 AM

Wow, if the Twins manage to play 4,860 games in 30 years inside the new stadium, that would be some kind of record right?

Posted by: Aaron at March 28, 2007 10:13 AM

So, here we are; According HC the stadium tax will cost me 60 bucks a year. The additional 1/2% sales tax (which we won't be able to vote on, thanks to you guys) will cost 3 times that or 180 bucks a year. The additional gas tax will initially cost me $550 bucks a year:

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2007/03/24/housegastax/

So, with thanks to the politicians (and a "nod" to you anti-referrendum supporters) who are beating a wide path down the same road the legislature carved last year with the stadium precedent; I'm going to pay an additional 100 bucks a month for our wonderful quality of life! I hope my mortgage payment doesnt' adjust up! and anybody looked at their property tax statement this year? no wonder the County is afraid of the "quick take" my house supposedly went up 20% last year!?! I thought the housing market was soft? When gas goes up to 3 bucks a gallon this summer, what will that cost me? another 1500 bucks a year!?! I hope you guys find enough money to enjoy your stadium in 3 years, or you better start saving now.

This is why we're supposed to VOTE on tax increases!

Posted by: STM at March 28, 2007 10:27 AM

Shane - Your wonderful blog software caught a tremendously insiteful post of mine. Please review an post. Thanks.

Posted by: STM at March 28, 2007 10:33 AM

Well, actually it is pretty wonderful. If you knew how much real spam it catches you wouldn't be so sarcastic about it.

For future reference it didn't like the word "mortgage." Tough little bugger, heh?

Posted by: Shane at March 28, 2007 10:37 AM

Aaron,

You're right about 4,860 games in 30 years being a record. But, haven't you heard? MLB is going to a 324 game schedule (162 home and 162 away)... all doubleheaders. It will be Twinstastic!

Posted by: The Rational Actor at March 28, 2007 10:38 AM

And Craig, no, Molly never hired any ninja monkeys, but I got tired of sleeping on the couch!

Posted by: Shane at March 28, 2007 10:41 AM

Shane-
You're right. There will be future hurdles. But once they start digging and building, there's no stopping it. Future hurdles may delay things, but they won't kill the project.

Posted by: john at March 28, 2007 10:41 AM

STM, just to make your response accurate: the Twins haven't been out of it by July 4th since 2000. So, the 30-year trend you reference seems too high. I like to think we will always be in it until July 4th, so let's say 15 years, and split the difference.

The complaint/argument is that we are a "mid-size market", not a small market. In baseball, the small market teams are traditionally recognized to be Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Oakland (because their market share is cannibalized so severely by San Francisco). The midsize markets would include us, Cleveland, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa, Arizona, San Diego, Colorado, Florida, and sometimes Toronto due to the impact of the exchange rate. The large markets are: New York, Boston, Baltimore/Washington (although it remains to be seen whether this remains due to cannibalization much like the Bay Area), Chicago, Detroit, Arlington (Dallas-Fort Worth), Toronto, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Atlanta (with the growth since the Olympics), Houston, and San Francisco. Whenever debates cause fractures in the ownership ranks that divide the markets based on size, the votes usually shake out according to the above.

Finally, once the tax was imposed just in Hennepin County, the out-of-towners argument went down the drain. I love them, but they will need to start looking at the weather forecast more often.

I certainly agree we will all probably be on Greet Machine in 2037 pining over the space-age park that Bill Pohlad requires to increase annual revenues to $4 Billion.

DR

Posted by: Derek Robertson at March 28, 2007 11:01 AM

Aaron & Rational - where, in my original post, did I define the "meaningless games" as only taking place in our new stadium? If you get my drift - the whole season is meaningless.

Posted by: STM at March 28, 2007 11:19 AM

STM, most people who complain about not being able to vote on public projects like this show up ONLY when it involves a stadium for a pro sports team. I just want to make sure that you complained as loudly when our taxes were increased to pay for a downtown Target retail store location, which cost us $30M, and the Guthrie Theater which cost us $25M, and the expansion of the Medtronic Campus which cost us nearly $50M, and the expansion of the convention center which cost over $80M, and the list goes on. You didn't get to vote on any of those public projects which in some cases went to support some very rich people that didn't need a dime of our money. If you did complain just as loudly, then kudos to you. But, if not, then stop with your ranting on this site about not getting to vote.

Posted by: Derek Robertson at March 28, 2007 11:21 AM

Suggestion to STM - if you hate taxes so much, you might explore moving to someplace like South Dakota or Montana.

Bonus: There will also be no professional sports teams, transit systems or other "amenities" to annoy you.

Posted by: Snyder at March 28, 2007 11:26 AM

Derek - Are you referring to TIF on Target and Medtronic? because if you are, that's very "apples and oranges." I don't know if the Guthrie is private or not (really, who follows theater), but if it is - then I'm against that too. I know the convention center is a publicly owned MULTI purpose building.

Snyd - Funny how every other major city with 4 professional teams manages to keep their franchises satisfied AND remain out of the top 10 in tax burden? hmmmmmm. I guess they're just smarter than we are. I wonder why they put up with the hell they live in?

Posted by: STM at March 28, 2007 11:41 AM

It is truly a day brightener to come to this site and see how bent out of shape STM gets each day.

STM:

While you may not succeed in your 'no taxes for anything (except for the stuff I like)' crusade, you can take comfort that you've made life a little lighter for one person. I've gotten many a chuckle out of reading your silly rants, and considering why someone would waste SO much time lecturing to folks who won't change their minds. Please keep it up!

In fact, I hope you keep it up for another reason: If you actually spent as much time as you do here in activities that would have ACTUALLY affected the stadium debate, I am pretty confident the stadium wouldn't have passed, so for our sake, please keep banging your head against the Greet Machine wall!

Posted by: tato at March 28, 2007 11:56 AM

tato - you aren't supposed to be acknowledging me anymore. But since you did - taxes are like your wife. It's the ole' 5 to 7 pounds a year....a half dozen years ago you married a hottie (assuming you're hetero), now you wake up and say "WTF!! when did this happen?" Same thing with taxes....pretty soon you'll have more month at the end of your money and say the same thing. Only, some of us will have the right to complain, others can only blame themselves.

And, as I've previously mentioned, my Commissioner, Senator and Rep voted against this tax, so I was successful. But because of our great system, it didn't matter. Now I get to come on here and throw "verbal rocks" at your "glass houses."

oh, and just to "back up" my previous claim; I was talking to Snyd about "taxes per capita"

http://www.census.gov/govs/statetax/05staxrank.html

Posted by: STM at March 28, 2007 12:09 PM

STM-

I wasn't supposed to be acknowledging you anymore? Says who? As I said, I LOVE your posts.

Go ahead and throw rocks. The house may be made of glass, but thanks to the stadium tax the glass is 3 ft thick, and we're all inside drinking taxpayer funded champagne and laughing at you.

:)

Posted by: tato at March 28, 2007 12:30 PM

STM - my comment was meant as a joke because the Twins only play 81 home games a year, not 162 like you said in your post (30 years * 81 home games = 2,430).

Posted by: Aaron at March 28, 2007 12:36 PM

Luke 12:19-21 And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years, take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you’. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself??

Aaron - I got it. It would've been funnier if I had actually implied that all 4,860 games would be played at home. I didn't.

Posted by: STM at March 28, 2007 12:51 PM

John 3:16

"And God said, 'Go Twins.'"

Posted by: GK at March 28, 2007 1:11 PM

OK - so I checked the census link for taxes and noticed that South Dakota is at the bottom of both the total and per-capita lists.

Add that South Dakota has no professional sports teams and barely enough of a state population to support any form of mass transit, let alone any kind of a metropolitan population for one, and I feel vindicated in my earlier suggestion that this would be STM's dream world.

Posted by: Snyder at March 28, 2007 1:12 PM

don't feed troll, he was in his cage for a few days but positive stadium talk resurfaced and he managed to claw his way through the lock. are you in love with us troll? you love the attention, don't you troll? good troll....i really want to meet troll at the groundbreaking.

Posted by: mullen at March 28, 2007 1:13 PM

Family Guy reference for those that are thinking "What the hell?".

STM,
Life sucks. Get over it.

Posted by: GK at March 28, 2007 1:15 PM

Hey look - mullen gets a lunch break.

What a bunch of morons, putting up with a substandard quality of life AND supporting a full compliment of professional franchises; like Texas (#49) or Colorado (#47) or Florida (#37) or Kansas (#32) or Illinois (#29). All those places really suck! crappy roads and schools, no "culture"

Anybody who thinks our lofty tax status affords us anything more or better than you can find in anyone of the aformentioned states....are a lot dumber than they look! (except for mullen - he IS as dumb as he looks)

Posted by: STM at March 28, 2007 1:22 PM

I'm sorry, but Kansas? Seriously, Kansas!?!

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

Yeah, right.

As for any of the other states mentioned, if those sound preferable to you, STM, nothing's stopping you from moving to one of them, either...

Posted by: Snyder at March 28, 2007 2:02 PM

GK wrote-

John 3:16

"And God said, 'Go Twins.'"

I'd forgotten about that one, although my personal favorite is

Leviticus Chapter 1

"And the LORD called unto OPAT, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,
Speak unto the children of Hennepin County, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the city of Minneapolis, ye shall bring your offering of a Baseball Stadium, even of the Twins, and of the MLB."

Posted by: tato at March 28, 2007 2:02 PM

Texas, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, and Illinois all have schools systems that are so poor that you have to pay to send your kids to private school for a quality education. They also have healthcare systems in serious need of attention. The money that one would spend on private school alone would more than make up for the tax breaks and the lack of high-quality healthcare is not something I want to live with.

If anyone believes that their personal bottom line would be better anywhere else that has the same quality of life, you are kidding yourself. It all works out in the end. Where there are lower taxes per capita, there are lower incomes per capita. Where there is lower quality of life, there are higher expenses for things like schooling and healthcare.

Posted by: Derek Robertson at March 28, 2007 2:25 PM

I know I can move. At least I think we're still free to do that?

The point isn't if any of those states sound better or not; it's the notion you guys believe that somehow our tax burden provides a quality of life not found elsewhere. That's a MYTH, a FABLE, a CROCK. And you guys guzzle it down like mullen trying to earn enough to buy a bottle of 2 buck chuck!.

Posted by: STM at March 28, 2007 2:25 PM

Derek -

I split my time between KC and Mpls, I have 2 sons who live in Denver with their wives, a brother who's lived in Illinois, Tennessee and Florida and an uncle who moved his family to Dallas in 2004 after 35 years here. I can assuredly tell you that everything you've wrote is absolutely false.

I send my two youngest to private school because eventhough our district passed every stinking single referendum it proposed, the class sizes still grew to 33 to 1

Posted by: STM at March 28, 2007 2:42 PM

STM-

Since you know you can move, why don't you?

I'm not suggesting you SHOULD, I'm just objectively asking why you DON'T.

Your argument seems to be that a comparable quality of life can be found elsewhere for less cost. You don't need to perform a formal cost-benefit analysis to conclude that under that scenario it is ILLOGICAL for you to live in Minnesota...

I conclude that you are either:

a) wrong.

or

b) stupid.

Posted by: tato at March 28, 2007 2:50 PM

Your inability to conjur up other circumstances that require I stay here is very revealing.

1.) My job requires me to stay here

2.) The wifes family lives here and she's too afraid to leave their care to our wonderful healthcare system

3.) Should Martin Luther King have just left because he didn't like it here? how about trying to improve things rather than just running away? or do you prefer the darkness and dampness surrounding your head while it's in the sand?

Posted by: STM at March 28, 2007 2:59 PM

Au contraire. I figured you'd come up with precisely those types of responses.

Again, I'm not suggesting that you (or MLK) should leave anywhere.

That said, you have proven that you CANNOT, in fact, find the quality of life you have here elsewhere, since to move would entail leaving your wife's family and your job.

Presumably, your profit minded employer finds some economic benefit to being here, and thus finds the 'high tax burden' worth it. Due to the stable economic growth in Minnesota over the past decades, it seems many other companies agree.

Likewise, your wife's famiily is free to move, but they too seem to find the benefits of living here are worth the cost. By extension, you yourself have made the same decision (whether you intended to or not).

Since 5 million people (and growing) ultimately find the benefit (whatever that benefit may be) of living here to be greater than the cost, the tax burden is justified by the market.

Posted by: tato at March 28, 2007 3:10 PM

My employer's HQ is out of state.

Don't confuse personal tax burden and corporate tax burden (which, while still high, has dropped substantially over the past decade).

And since I can post here anonymously - my wife and her family are morons also.

Posted by: STM at March 28, 2007 3:14 PM

From todays Strib; Hey, we're #46?

Income growth in Minnesota was 3.8 percent, or 46th in the nation and less than the 4.3 percent in neighboring Wisconsin. Per-capita income in Minnesota is now $38,712, ranking Minnesota at No. 12 in the nation, down two from 2005.

"For us to be 46th in the nation in terms of something as important a measure as per-capita income growth doesn't bode well," Steve Hine, Minnesota director of labor market research, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

http://www.startribune.com/535/story/1085025.html

Let's see, some quick math here from my previous post. 60+180+550=$790, + the increase in my property taxes....yep, that oughta do it! totally wipe out the 1400 bucks per capita income went up last year. Toss in 3% inflation and we're all making less! (unless of course, you got a 7% raise, in which case, you're just breaking even.)

What a State! Ahhhhhhh

Posted by: STM at March 28, 2007 3:30 PM

STM - Minnesota sucks, baseball sucks, the schools suck, the healthcare sucks and now "your wife and her family are morons."

Seriously, what DO you like?

Posted by: Jeff T. at March 28, 2007 3:50 PM

On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin
Grand ol' Badger state!

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at March 28, 2007 4:01 PM

According to a Facebook group I joined recently, Jesus Hates Wisconsin - just had to throw that in... :-)

Posted by: Snyder at March 28, 2007 4:15 PM

Hey STM--quit your complaining and run for office.

Posted by: Aaron at March 28, 2007 4:40 PM

It's getting really depressing reading this site. After all, most of us are moronic, Oputz guzzling lemmings.

STM - I'm not going to question anything about you except - What do you hope to accomplish here?

Thank you for your time

Posted by: JBN at March 28, 2007 4:59 PM

STM - I'm not going to question anything about you except - What do you hope to accomplish here?

To antagonize and provoke an argument.

I know Shane likes having someone argue the opposing viewpoint. The comments area here would be boring w/o STM:
"hey wow, isn't this stadium going to be great"
"Yes!"
"OMG, I love paying taxes!!"

But behind the shroud of knowledge that STM has, or at least spouts he is overly caustic with the sole intent of riling us up.

Personally, I think STM is Shane's wife.

Posted by: Drake33 at March 28, 2007 5:35 PM

I am glad to hear the news looks good. I am optimistic that the Twins will make sure this stadium is adequate. Due to the land size and not having a roof, it will never be 'perfect.' I know some of you don't even want the roof, but I do think the Twins fail to realize (or do, but decided it wasn't worth the $$) that they have the 2nd biggest geographic fan base in baseball, behind Colorado. The people coming from the Dakotas or northern MN may be more hesitant now, especially big groups that have to plan months in advance. They can't wait to see what the weather is. The Twins are going to have to go out of thier way to entice these groups (free passes to Camp Nickelodian if it rains) to make the trip. But overall, I'm optimistic it will be a great stadium that MN will be proud of.

I would also like to second the notion that STM try moving to SD. You will find that the taxes are very, very low. Your take home pay will be higher, you should be thrilled. However, save that extra money because you will need it to have your car re-alligned 3 times per year due to horrible road conditions. Also, save your vacation time because you will need it for the days you can't get to work because they haven't plowed the roads yet. Whatever is left you will pay in higher property taxes. However, Sioux Falls Canaries games are inexpensive and just as 'meaningless' as you claim Twins games are. Enjoy.

Posted by: David Howe at March 28, 2007 5:44 PM

Actually, I think the Twins management does realize the geographic size of their base, given how much effort they've put into building the radio network.

I just think they also realize that having an open-air ballpark will draw plenty of the more locally-based fans that got sick of watching baseball in the Dome to offset any losses from the groups of fans that used to come from the Dakotas or northern MN.

And I'm OK with that, since the sales tax is on sales made in Hennepin County, so it will be mostly paid by us folks in the metro area.

I also think that after a year or two, some of those groups that are further off will realize that seeing the Twins play their games in a REAL ballpark is worth maybe having to put up with some rain once in a while and take the risk.

Posted by: Snyder at March 28, 2007 6:24 PM

I like how you "ditto heads" hold up South Dakota as the anti-Minnesota, like SHartman drones about a "cold Omaha." Funny that you never bring up Dallas/Fort Worth - #49 on the per capita tax list.....hmmmm could it be because we don't compare too favorably to them? Probably.

It doesn't matter what I wish to accomplish here; what do you wish to accomplish while you're here? Let's face it, 99% of us are trapped here, by wife, family, job, peer pressure, fear of change, whatever. But face it, we’re stuck here. If you don’t want to think anything, feel anything, do anything but escape by going to a stadium a handful of times per year while YOUR government sentences you to “death by duck bite? as it consistently and unceasingly erodes your standard of living and purchasing power under the guise of “better quality of life? then…..POOF. Wish granted.

If you want meaning, if for nothing more than sending a message to the powers that be that you’re NOT going to accept the shineola they’re shoveling! This crap about standard of living and education and transportation and that’s why we pay so much in taxes, BAH. They pat themselves on the back with one hand and steal your wallet with the other. They NEED you to believe that malarkey so you continue to just sit back, shrug and pay.

If we’re so great, I want to see “schoolsfirst.org? running ads that say; “Thanks, thanks for spending your hard earned dollars and agreeing to pay more towards education than any other state in the union!? rather than the fear mongering about mediocrity. If we’re #1 in spending, why are we not #1 in education? Somebody’s giving us a bad deal! I want to hear MNDOT say “No thanks, we’ve got too much; there isn’t another road or bridge to fix, replace or improve.? Instead we get “we need more! more! more!? I thought we spent more than anybody? Where the frick is it going? This State has got Income taxes, sales taxes (state and local), property taxes, gas taxes, sin taxes, special taxes, license fees, registration fees, GOSH DARN SON OF A BISCUIT! WHEN IS ENOUGH, ENOUGH?!?

You guys ever follow a dollar from the moment you earn it? You’re lucky you got 50 cents and the Politicos will tell you there’s only a 28% Federal and 7% State income tax bracket – BALONEY! State and Federal taxes and fees take 50% of your purchasing power and it’s going up!

Fine – Don’t do anything and nothing is exactly what you’ll have left. Enjoy your game.

Posted by: STM at March 28, 2007 6:59 PM

Honestly, a lot of groups from outstate or out-of-state aren't going to be able to fit in the ballpark as frequently, especially the first few seasons when ticket demand is high. Others may find the new ticket prices too high, and the lack of adequate "general admission" seating could hurt too. I expect the Twins will accomodate these fans somewhat (ticket exchanges/rain checks/passes to other attractions) but it honestly won't be much of a big deal.

The Twins rely on these groups to fill up the Dome because the locals won't. The Twins won't generally have that problem in the new park, and furthermore, the economics of the game have changed so much as to place far less emphasis on group tickets -- big attendance has less impact on the team's bottom line than club seats and corporate luxury suites.

Posted by: spycake at March 28, 2007 7:05 PM

STM--

You wrote The additional gas tax will initially cost me $550 bucks a year:

The proposed gas tax increase you linked to is 10 cents a gallon. You mean to tell us you use 5,500 gallons of gas a year?

Also, under Shane's March 18 post, I took note that you wrote: I don't and won't shop in Hennepin County anyway, so it's now skin of my a$$.

So it doesn't sound like the stadium tax is costing you anything. You might want to revise your numbers!

Posted by: spycake at March 28, 2007 7:18 PM

spycake - if you read more than the headline, you'd have gotten to this little tidbit. There weren't many pictures along the way, so I understand.

St. Paul, Minn. — The House transportation package raises the state's gas tax by 10 cents over the next two years to pay for road and transit projects. It would also increase license tab fees on new vehicle purchases and allow counties to increase vehicle surcharges and sales taxes to pay for transportation projects. Rep. Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan, says the proposal averages out to a $550 a year cost increase for a family of four.

Also, I was in denial when I wrote that about not shopping in HC.

Posted by: STM at March 28, 2007 7:36 PM

STM,

I read more than the headline, but that $550 estimate isn't limited to the "gas tax" as you claimed in your post above. Don't worry -- we all speak/write incorrectly from time to time.

You know, most of us here appreciate a dissenting opinion (I was that voice for some time, and I'm still not entirely thrilled with the ballpark thing) but your arguments are all over the map. I see that you want to tie the stadium tax to this year's proposed tax increases in the legislature, but that's really apples and oranges and a huge political discussion of another kind. I can't speak for all of the commenters here, but I certainly know some of them DO oppose the other kinds of tax increases you mention.

However, the stadium tax was approved by a Republican house and a DFL senate, and ultimately signed into law by a "no tax" conservative governor. And it's essentially a consumption tax for a limited area, and food and clothes are exempt. You're welcome to say what you want, but your non-stadium complaints are really in the wrong forum here.

Posted by: spycake at March 28, 2007 7:55 PM

I said this once before and STM didn't respond, so I'll say it again. Unless you have aspirations to run for office, all this spouting about our taxes being too high and poor quality of life and every other complaint you have about our local government means absolutely nothing. You're living in a utopia where taxes are low, money is ALWAYS spent wisely, all teachers are effective, and roads never need repair. I live in Hennepin County and have been a supporter of a sales tax increase since day one because it will improve MY quality of life. You won't be able to convince me otherwise, even with all your propaganda making us all seem like spoon-fed idiots.

Posted by: Aaron at March 28, 2007 7:58 PM

Welcome back Kaz, I see you got a release from your doctor.
You say, "98% of the people paying for this thing will only see it in pictures. Nobody will go downtown to see this mock up. What a joke!"
MOA may be where a lot of the taxes will generate, but the government center is the eye of the storm. The joke is on us because our HC board has created this difficult situation. The HC board is the perfect example of the great lie, "I'm from the government and I am here to help". And, despite the board incompetence from the very beginning, this situation will get resolved and we will have outdoor baseball. It's too bad that you too don't enjoy the outdoors.

Posted by: Jimmy Jack at March 29, 2007 8:54 AM

I love the outdoors, its just that in the spring, when most of us are most enthusiastic about baseball, we've got this to look forward to for opening week 2010;

http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/vacationplanner/tenday/55401?from=36hr_topnav_vacation

I'm guessing the fall won't be much better doing any potential playoff run.

I'll listen to baseball when it's 85 and sunny on the radio, depending on what I'm doing, but it sure ain't gonna be struggling to get into and out of downtown!

Posted by: Kaz at March 30, 2007 1:39 PM

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