As it turns out, folks who puff on Marlboros will help pay for the next place where Ragnar will be blowing his horn.
With electronic pulltab and bingo games, the original funding mechanism for the state’s portion of the new Vikings stadium, falling far short of projections, Minnesota needs a new way to come up with the money.
Enter the smokers.
Via Jim Ragsdale of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Governor Mark Dayton has proposed increasing the state cigarette tax from $1.23 per pack to a whopping $2.83 per pack to help bridge the gap. Dayton also proposed the closure of a corporate “tax avoidance loophole,” which would generate $20 million per year.
The cigarette tax would cure the short-term gap in revenue, with the corporate tax vehicle providing an ongoing safety net, in the event the electronic games continue to fall short of the necessary revenue goals.
So, basically, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. And then go buy more to smoke.