Response to Mayor Rybak’s letter regarding John Quincy

I am compelled to respond to Mayor Rybak’s recent posting supporting Council Member Quincy for re-election.  While recognizing Council Member Quincy’s service, the claim that his vote in favor of the Vikings stadium bill reduces property taxes is simply untrue.

According to the City’s own documents, the State of Minnesota will retain a total of $678 million dollars in city sales tax revenues from 2021-2046 as a result of the stadium legislation.  Under an amendment approved by the legislature in 2009, those dollars would otherwise have been available for economic development and housing projects in our neighborhoods.  Further under that same language the City could have transferred the costs of maintenance and operation of the Target Center to the sales tax in 2009 without the stadium legislation.

In fact in my last year on the Council and over my objection, the City renewed the tax increment district called the Common Project and dedicated $5 million to neighborhoods and $5 million to the maintenance of the Target Center.  It would have been  better public policy at that time to use  sales tax revenues beyond what was needed for the convention center for those maintenance needs.

Other than the depletion of a much needed $678 million dollar endowment that would have paid benefits starting in 2021 when the bonds for the expansion of the convention center were paid off, the only consequence of the stadium bill was to allow the Council to circumvent the Charter not only for the Vikings stadium but also for Target Center. In fact that is exactly what is happening now.

Paul Ostrow
Former City Council president, 1st Ward