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MOA Deal Keeps BPS Potential Alive?

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I see where the state kept the subsidy to MOA alive in part in the new budget (if the good people of Bloomington decide the same) for the proposed expansion. If I understood it correctly then that would be a big step in keeping the plan for the new Bass Pro Shops location alive which is good news.

On a related topic I see that Gander will be beginning an on-line shopping and catalog operation soon. Good thing because I can't afford to drive to buy baits and drive to go fishing...Hate to have to restrict my fishing to only those lakes near a Gander...LOL

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On a related topic I see that Gander will be beginning an on-line shopping and catalog operation soon. Good thing because I can't afford to drive to buy baits and drive to go fishing...Hate to have to restrict my fishing to only those lakes near a Gander...LOL

Yeah, i catch myself doing this a lot too now. A lot of baits I want are only found in stores 30+ miles away (cabelas) and its cheaper to just buy them online. Also, I find myself shopping close to my house at more expensive stores (thorne brothers by my work or sportsmans warehouse by my house)rather than driving the extra 30 miles round trip to places like Fleet Farm because their prices are cheaper. 30 miles=2 gallons = ~$7.50 or an extra crank if I stay close to home....

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I see where the state kept the subsidy to MOA alive in part in the new budget (if the good people of Bloomington decide the same) for the proposed expansion.

We subsidise the MOA???

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it would be pretty cool to see that come to MN. Im very suprised that they have not been here already. Be awesome to see it here in MN

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Originally Posted By: lake Off
I see where the state kept the subsidy to MOA alive in part in the new budget (if the good people of Bloomington decide the same) for the proposed expansion.

We subsidise the MOA???

Here ya go, MSR....I'll find a news piece about the final deal that got passed and included in the new state budget and post. This is just a warm-up...

Bigger MOA gets bipartisan boost

Leaders of both parties back public subsidies for the mall's huge expansion. The governor remains undecided.

By MIKE KASZUBA, Star Tribune

Last update: April 29, 2008 - 9:54 PM

The Mall of America's proposal for a massive expansion built seemingly unstoppable momentum Tuesday as top Republican and DFL legislators endorsed a public subsidy plan before cheering construction workers, with some predicting that only Gov. Tim Pawlenty stands in its way.

With hundreds of sign-waving construction workers rallying at the State Capitol, supporters of the $2.1 billion proposal fanned out among legislators during the day and emphasized the plan's promise to create 7,000 construction jobs and another 7,000 permanent jobs amid a stagnant economy.

The plan's intent to divert $4.5 million in tax base annually from the metro-wide fiscal disparities pool to help pay for a $204 million parking ramp -- a highlight of the subsidy package -- was downplayed as legislators led workers in chants of "Construction Jobs Now."

"I can think of no better way to top off this jobs session than with this bill becoming law," House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, told the cheering workers. "At the end of the day, this issue, I predict, will be on the governor's desk."

She was joined by House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, who also backed the proposal.

Pawlenty's position unclear

In a statement after the rally, Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung said that "This year's Mall of America financing proposal is better than last year's, but we still have some questions and concerns." A year ago, the governor vetoed a broad tax bill that included the mall's second phase plan; at the time, he said he was opposed to using fiscal disparities money to help fund it.

"The governor will be looking at the Mall of America proposal in the broader context of our state's priorities," McClung said Tuesday.

The second-phase project, encompassing 5.6 million square feet, would be built across the street from the 16-year-old enclosed mall and would include a mixture of hotels, offices, a dinner theater and water park.

Its most controversial aspect would include the use of public money that otherwise would go into the fiscal disparities pool, a financing tool dating to the 1970s. Under fiscal disparities, 40 percent of the growth in commercial-industrial tax base in the Twin Cities metro area is shared among communities in an attempt to strike a balance between "have" and "have not" cities in terms of tax base. With the mall proposal, the increase in the tax base resulting from the expansion would go toward the 8,000-space parking ramp rather than into the pool.

Although critics maintain that fiscal disparities money was never meant to help subsidize a private development, mall officials have said that without a subsidy package totaling $370 million (including infrastructure improvements), the project cannot move forward.

With the Senate having already approved the mall's proposal, legislative leaders outlined a plan that would have the issue settled in a House-Senate conference committee. Tuesday's events made it likely that the House Taxes Committee, which is chaired by subsidy opponent Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington, would be bypassed as the mall's supporters seek to move the proposal forward in the waning weeks of the session.

Rep. Michael Nelson, DFL-Brooklyn Park, the House author of the mall measure, said it is unlikely the plan would be introduced in Lenczewski's committee in order to avoid a defeat that would slow the plan's momentum. "I'm not sure there are enough votes," he said.

Lenczewski agreed. "There isn't the votes, and I think they know it," she said.

Sen. Tom Bakk, the Senate Taxes Committee chairman, said the mall's proposal would be part of any "global" solution for an overall state tax bill.

"If I'm in the room, the mall's going to be one of the things considered as part of the final package," said Bakk, DFL-Cook, who was flanked by construction workers and images of the mall's second phase at a news conference.

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Here are summaries of what was actually in the final budget resolution that was adopted:

Mall of America: A plan to subsidize a $2 billion expansion was scaled back, relying on sales, amusement and food and beverage taxes at the mall itself and a lodging tax Bloomington can impose citywide.

If you are ... feeling sorry for the Mall of America (and hey, who isn't?), put that thought on hold. A revised proposal still gives the mall a large public subsidy package for its second phase, but forces shoppers, diners, drinkers and motel guests in Bloomington to pay for it.

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This would be a good start, they're doing it to us, maybe the pols would think twice if they weren't so isolated as to not know or care what they're doing to us.

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