Alright, folks. . .it looks like the sites are officially back up and running with no issues. We apologize to all of our readers out there that have had difficulty getting to us for the past couple of days.
While we were having problems, it appears that the state of Minnesota might have solved their problem of coming up with sufficient funding for a new Minnesota Vikings' stadium. The solution is two-fold, and it was introduced by Governor Mark Dayton on Friday.
The first is an increase on cigarette taxes, which will bump the tax on a pack of smokes from $1.23 per pack to $2.83 per pack. I can't imagine this being too terribly popular with the smoking crowd. . .it would make the price of a carton go up by $16. . .and would give Minnesota one of the highest cigarette taxes in the nation. The other part of the equation would involve closing a corporate "tax avoidance" loophole.
According to the state's revenue commissioner, raising the cigarette tax by itself would generate $24.5 million a year in additional revenue, which would replenish the state's stadium fund and cover any shortfalls.
The legislature has to have the tax bill drafted by midnight on Monday, so at that point we'll see if the plan introduced by Governor Dayton has any real traction. According to the Fox Sports North article listed above, the deal was "accepted in principle" by the folks in charge of drafting that bill.
Yes, I realize that this is a political matter. It can't really be avoided. Feel free to discuss it as such. . .however, if the comments degenerate into "RAWR REPUBLICANS SUCK RAWR NO DEMOCRATS SUCK" or something of a similar nature, we're yanking the plug. If the issue can't be discussed in a normal, respectful manner, it won't be discussed at all.