Members and Associates,
Attached you will find an opinion editorial submitted by ACM to the Star Tribune last week. It has not been printed as of today.
Also attached is a letter to the editor that we will be sending to all newspapers in Minnesota, with the goal of being printed in those papers. I have attached the letter in .doc so you can customize it for your organization and deliver it to your local paper personally. That will dramatically increase the chances of it getting published.
The possibility of a special session is still in doubt and probably diminishing by the day.
At the conclusion of a special session or declared not going to happen by the Governor, ACM will issue a recap of the entire 2016 Legislative session.
The issue of funding the new stadium is a stumbling point in relief for non-profit licensed gaming charities. We were told at the end of the 2015 session by both sides of the aisle that we needed to solve the stadium funding issue before any relief would be possible.
To that end ACM decided to embrace the stadium and to offer all of our state taxes be dedicated to paying the entire stadium bond payments annually. In an amendment presented to the Tax Conference Committee we offered to pay $35 million per year for the stadium bond payments, with our entire state tax liability being capped at $35 - $40 million. We presently pay $57 million per year. The amendment was not included in the 2016 omnibus tax bill.
We can no longer endure our current tax structure. We are precariously close as an industry to crossing a line where we will be paying the state more in taxes than we have for our missions. Any charity that currently pays more than 25% state tax on an annual basis is probably (depending on your expenses) already at that point. We cannot sit by idly as this is happening.
If there is a special session and there is no relief for non-profit licensed gaming charities ACM will be issuing an explanation of our current tax structure with the goal of being presented to every candidate running for state representative or state senator this fall. That candidate will be asked to indicate whether they support relief for us or are against relief for us. We will then publish the list of those candidates that support us and those that don’t.
ACM is not against the Vikings or against the state. We are against being taken advantage of. I would challenge anyone that does not have a dog in the fight to look at the facts and not conclude that we are treated unfairly in regards to our current tax structure.