Weather Forecast


Pull tabs fall short of millions needed to fund Vikings’ stadium

Smokers get no respect. The late comedian Rodney Dangerfield could certainly identify. Why? Now the governor’s set his eye on adding additional taxes onto the price of cigarettes in order to make up the sagging difference in funding the state’s share of the new Vikings stadium.

Keep in mind the governor and the Legislature put all of us (the state of Minnesota) on the hook. News flash: the state of Minnesota is you and me — the taxpayers.

First, the brain trust in St. Paul said we would pay for the state’s share of the new stadium with electronic pull tabs. That has gone over like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree. It’s been a total failure. (However, the state may have several thousand iPads to sell in the next auction of state surplus equipment.)

Keep in mind that the state’s obligation is $384 million. If the governor’s latest scheme to fleece the average Minnesota citizen addicted to nicotine is carried forward by his Legislative cronies it will mean that the smoking public will be paying $2.83 in state taxes to buy their pack of smokes. That’s above and beyond the cost of the cigarettes themselves.

(I hear a mad rush to the store trying to find the latest quit smoking gimmick.)

Why are the sin taxes placed on “sinners” so appealing to government officials? I guess they understand the addictive power of cigarette smoking and know that there are still those “sinners” out there who’ll need their smokes. (I wonder if they’ll have a smokers’ hall of fame in this new stadium.)

The revenue from this cigarette tax hike will, if everyone does not enroll in a smoking cessation course, make up the shortfall to pay for the new Zygi Wilf stadium. (Did I mention that Zygi and his brother are billionaires?)

Oh well, we little people out here in the hinterlands don’t mind paying for a plush, state-of-the-art facility that will be used eight times a year during the regular National Football League season, do we?

Keith Hansen

What if...

If by some divine act of providence we could get rid of both parties and hire some good men, like any other good business does, that would be sitting pretty.

Will Rogers

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889