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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Kelliher, Pogemiller and Seifert Conspire to Swindle the Taxpayers with the Mall Parking Lot Boondoggle

Oink, Oink..... Pork!

Both House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, and House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, were greeted with applause as they spoke in a State Capitol rotunda crowded with sign-waving construction workers wearing hard hats. Kelliher said afterward that she expects the mall's $2.1 billion proposal -- which includes public subsidies -- to be part of a conference committee tax bill that will be presented to Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Today's events made it likely that the House Taxes Committee -- whose chairwoman, Rep., Ann Lenczewski, opposes the public subsidy component -- would be bypassed as the mall's supporters seek to move the proposal through the Legislature.

So this conference committee will get stacked with pro-boondoggle legislators. This is disgusting. Why have committees, when bills such as this don't go through the committee process?

Where is the Taxpayer's League? They should run an ad on the Governor's radio show urging him to veto this nonsense.

Any Minneapolis legislator who votes for this should be thrown out of office

This subsidizes the Mall at the expense of downtown businesses. There is no reason this can't be done using private funding - and could be done privately if the Mall would be willing to charge for parking. Shame on Marty Seifert, who is supposedly a No New Taxes type of guy, and shame on Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Larry Pogemiller who are selling out the Minneapolis property taxpayers on this one. If this passes, Minneapolis property taxes go up to make up for the revenue shortfall created by this boondoggle. The city of Minneapolis took an official position in opposition to this nonsense. Unfortunately, Minneapolis legislators don't feel they have to listen to their constituents.

Most Commenters Are Irate at the Strib About Mall Boondoggle.

Strib comments here:

Why am I not surprised

Both sides are whacked out of their minds for backing this. I'm opposed to the pubic financing of any company. These companies make millions, if not billions, yet the people who pay for it, the taxpayer, see nothing. And where do these idiot legislators on both sides of the aisle think we are going to get the extra money? Most likely they will raise our taxes yet again.
posted by Riff_Raff on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:00 PM |


Have to disagree with Riff-Raff. In the case of the Mall, which generates a great deal of money for the local economy. An expansion in this case would continue to generate more money. In this case it is a plus for the local tax payers. Normally I would not agree, but for whatever reason the MOA generates money.
posted by Shamby on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:08 PM |

RE:Both sides are whacked out of their minds for backing this. I'm opposed to the pubic financing of any company.

Couldn't agree more. I can't see ANY public benefit in this. This is a private business, let them finance it.
posted by srusher on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:08 PM |

Re:In the case of the Mall, which generates a great deal of money for the local economy. An expansion in this case would continue to generate more money.

If there is so much money pumped into the local economy, then there should be people standing in line to help finance it.
posted by srusher on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:12 PM |


The mall generates millions of dollars per year in sales taxes, and payroll taxes. With the construction alone, it will generate 100's of much needed, good paying jobs. So tell me again that this won't provide any public benefit?
posted by olsonman on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:16 PM |

Seriously. . .

What's MOA gonna do if they don't get a subsidy, move? If it's a sound business investment, it'll pay for itself, right? I'm all for public money going to public uses, but if you want to put those contractors to work with public money let's do it for public projects. MOA might generate peripheral income for local businesses and such, but the owner's of that joint can surely leverage the financing to pay for the expansion. Heck, then we'll get the local benefits without having paid for them in advance. There's a time value to money--should the public get the value of hanging onto that cheese or should the owners of MOA? I'm disappointed in Margaret--she tends to know better than this!
posted by cjlundy on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:22 PM |

We need to support the MOA

With the Ford Plant gone, Northwest gone, 3M gone, and more; what else will there be?
posted by fleetingdays on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:24 PM |


You're not wrong. However, the issue is whether this is the best use of public dollars. If the investment makes sense, and the MOA leaders say that it will be beneficial, then they will make the same improvements to the MOA without public money. That still creates jobs and continues to increase sales and payroll taxes without sacrificing scare public dollars that could do the same thing for public projects. We're talking double benefits to the economy. So while this might do something to help us out, we can do more by spending that money where it won't be spent by private interests anyway.
posted by cjlundy on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:27 PM |

Too much of a mediocre thing

When so much of the Mallo's existing space is vacant, can someone explain to me why we need Son of Mallo? Other than to create temporary construction jobs building more storefronts that will stand empty or provide part-time, no-benefits, minimum-wage work that will have no lasting impact on the local economy?
posted by Mairin on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:30 PM |

Mall isn't going anywhere

And you are using a pot of money generated by other businesses to fund this parking lot. So basically the State is using scarce resources to fund a parking lot for a VERY profitable retail establishment - money which was generated by other commercial properties - some of which compete with the MOA. And where exactly is the MOA going to go? What a bunch of rubes. If the money is burning a hole in the State's pocket, they should repave more pot-hole filled roads so people can get to their work and home faster and not have to pay to get reallignments every month.
posted by jcarlen on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:42 PM |

Customer parking

Perhaps MOA customers should pay for the parking spaces they use instead of MN Taxpayers.
posted by jimhenricksen on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:42 PM |


I'm not surprised Mike Nelson is pushing this. He's a union enforcer for the local carpenters union. This is big business for his union bosses.

Small Businesses

So instead of giving small businesses any help (where the money spent might actually stay local), let's help out big business again and again. Why don't we also use public money to increase our dependence on foreign oil and autos, and increase congestion on 4-ninety-parkinglot.
posted by digitalsnow on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:49 PM |

Now I will have somewhere to spend my tax rebate check.
posted by greatx on Apr. 29, 08 at 3:24 PM |

The economy in this state is pretty much stalled. I'm for anything that will help stimulate the local/state economy. This money will come back to the state coffers as tax revenue.
posted by cheiron55401 on Apr. 29, 08 at 3:29 PM |

I just don't get why we would spend money on a private enterprise which is already doing quite well. If we are going to spend the same amount of public money, aren't there things to spend it on that would create greater public benefit? I agree with some sort of public spending to help counteract the economic slowdown, but getting bang for the buck should be first priority.
posted by theoko on Apr. 29, 08 at 3:38 PM |
Ok It's no surprise

Ok let me get this right. 2 Years ago, there was a tax bond referwhatever that passed for the roads. The bridge collapses. The state says they need more money to keep the bridges from falling. 6.6 billion tax increase. Report comes out, saying that some certain private org, has been lobbying all of our ELECTED officals in Saint Paul, for somewhere around $700,000, yes I did include all the right zeros. And now they get a $2.4 mill parking lot!! Oh by the way, I was at the Mall 3 years ago, won't go back On another note, Fix the center lane on 35W north of 694!!!
posted by hooptiempls on Apr. 29, 08 at 3:49 PM |
The mall generates millions of dollars per year in sales taxes, and payroll taxes.

And they won't generate these unless we provide them public subsidies? Government should not be in the business of making investment decisions. There are people that do this for a living and the only reason the state's participation is required is the pros have decided its not economically feasible or want to factor risk into the equation.
posted by srusher on Apr. 29, 08 at 3:55 PM |
8 of 14 people liked this comment. Do you?
This is a no-brainer!!

Do you want to attract people to MN or what?? Things like this are no-brainers. Some type of public subsidy is how certain things do and should get done. Do we want to keep the Vikings in MN?? Some type of public subsidy will need to be used there also, and I have no problem with that. If we want certain "qualities of life", we have to pay for them. Having the mall expand and double in size will be great for MN.
posted by herman3 on Apr. 29, 08 at 4:47 PM |

Money for Construction

If spending state money on construction is a positive thing for the economy, why not spend state money on private houses. My house is kind of old and I would like a new house paid for by the state. I'll pay more taxes and it will create construction jobs. Let's give away free houses in MN (paid for by every Minnesotan)!
posted by markstueven on Apr. 29, 08 at 4:52 PM |

Business is business

So you want to taxpayers to give you some money for a mall. How bout we give you the money you want and we become a partner, say 40%. You get your mall that we'll shop in and we get some of that money back from our investment. Hey, business is business. Now if those dumb***'s in Hennipen county were smart they would be owning at least 30% of the TWINS. Business is business
posted by catguy on Apr. 29, 08 at 4:54 PM |
6 of 8 people liked this comment. Do you?
A Vikings season ticket holder...

Now get me a shiny new Vikings stadium and step on it!
posted by dalyfan on Apr. 29, 08 at 5:00 PM |
7 of 12 people liked this comment. Do you?

Unbelievable!!! Yeah, a bunch more stores we don't need---do we all remember the dead butterfly store at the mall?---and most of the jobs I can guarantee you will be minimum wage, or slightly higher. This expansion will do nothing to stimulate the economy. The only thing that's going to happen, is that the expansion will happen, a bunch of stores will open, and then a bunch will become vacant due to poor sales/management, and then everyone will stand around ringing their hands, not understanding how this could happen. Complete waste of time and effort.
posted by magicmanrex on Apr. 29, 08 at 5:02 PM |

If its so

great, why don't they finance there own expansion? Spend the money on a new bridge. This another example of business feeding at the expense of others. Pollard was joking the other day that the value of his team increased 1.3 Billion dollars because of the new stadium that is mostly financed at taxpayers expense, who by the way get ZERO in return. Yep, sounds like another stupid idea.
posted by the_vfox on Apr. 29, 08 at 5:16 PM |

Why are tax payers being asked to pay for this mall expansion?

How would this be any different than paying for a Viking's stadium? This is bull.
posted by bobberama on Apr. 29, 08 at 5:18 PM |

Which is more crucial to economic development of the metro: a new parking ramp, or a new 35W bridge? I pray our governor has the balls to veto this handout. Unfortunately, he won't. Republicans are just as much in the public trough as democrats.
posted by rodgunther on Apr. 29, 08 at 6:49 PM |
4 of 9 people liked this comment. Do you?

If the mall expansion makes financial sense to do, then it shouldn't need a public subsidy. If it won't support itself, it shouldn't be done - period.
posted by fu666 on Apr. 29, 08 at 6:58 PM |

Stamp It JobZ

Pawlenty will sign off on it in a heartbeat if he thinks the money comes from his pet program.
posted by joeeeeee on Apr. 29, 08 at 7:10 PM |

Spend Money to Make Money


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