A blog post by St. Cloud Times reporter Mark Sommerhauser looks at Banaian's objection to the plan, which the Vikings say would use taxes raised by the team — including state income taxes paid by players and employees, and sales tax from items sold in a new stadium — to pay the state's share of the $1.1 billion stadium.But as Rep. King Banaian -- the economist in question -- points out, it is absurd to assert that if the money wasn't spent on the Vikings it wouldn't be spent at all, and that, therefore, a new Viking stadium is self financing:
The new proposal, floated in the Twin Cities newspaper ads last weekend, is called the "but-for" plan, because it would target tax revenues that allegedly wouldn't exist, but for the Vikings existence in the state.
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.And just throws the money into a hole.
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."
The same argument was made about just the sales tax revenue contributed to the state's coffers by the Vikings. Ed Kohler has been debunking that idea for some time, including in his recent Drinking Liberally appearance.
One has to doubt that even the Vikings believe this creation myth.