Here's the essence: Star Tribune writer Eric Roper writes about the planned
$35 million that Minneapolis plans to excuse Ryan Companies on their property
taxes for developing a luxury plaza on four blocks Ryan Companies are buying
from the Star Tribune. Ryan Companies, of course, was the company that hired
the company that flooded downtown Minneapolis last week by digging up a
high-pressure water main.
Who wins? The Star Tribune, which has recently become more of a real estate
company than a journalism concern, sells off their downtown headquarters and
parking lots at high prices. Ryan Companies, which gains $35 M in public
subsidies, despite their record of shutting down downtown for part of last
week. New Jersey billionaire and Vikings gladiator Zygi Wilf, for reasons that
have been analyzed to death on this forum.
Who loses? Minneapolis taxpayers, who will gave to pick up the slack on their
property taxes so that they big boys don't have to pay any. Businesses in all
parts of Minneapolis EXCEPT downtown, since all city resources are going
exclusively to the big boys there. Residents and visitors all over the city,
since the subsidies will inevitably result in reduced levels of essential city
The absolutely ONLY argument I have heard for the city giving away $675 million
for the gladiators' stadium was that such a subsidy might encourage economic
development which might in turn produce more taxable revenues. Well, if we are
going to use TIF mechanisms to forgive all such taxes, that pretty much blows
THAT argument up.
It now seems obvious beyond any possible doubt that this entire sports palace
was intended entirely to take our money and give it to the wealthy. Is there
anyone out there who can now provide an alternate explanation? Jim Bernstein,
Tony Scallon, anyone?