The ensuing judgment over the less-than-expected gambling revenue needed to fund the state's share of a new NFL stadium is premature and politically motivated, Gov. Mark Dayton said.
Republican critics have called for an investigation into the miscalculation. But Dayton said an investigation would be a waste of taxpayer money.
The governor said Tuesday that he does not believe the state needs to look for alternative funding sources beyond the suite tax and lottery game already in the law as backups.
"What is there to investigate? I mean there were honest assumptions made," Dayton said. "If somebody thinks there was wrongdoing then they should definitely produce the evidence that would support that. Otherwise, it's slow getting off to a start. Everybody agree with that. We missed the projections. Everybody agrees with that. We're working to correct it."
Republican Sen. Sean Nienow of Cambridge, who called for an investigation last week, said the public deserves to know why the administration's revenue estimates were so far off.
Sales taxes from both electronic pulltabs and linked bingo are earmarked to fund the state's $350 million share of the new Vikings stadium. The $975 million, downtown Minneapolis football stadium is the biggest public works project in state history. Ground will be broken in October, with a hoped-for 2016 opening.
Today saw the first meeting of a new House-Senate panel charged with oversight of Minnesota's publicly funded sports facilities. That includes
Members of the panel raised concerns about shortfalls so far in tax revenue from an electronic gambling expansion. Rep. Jim Davnie of Minneapolis says lawmakers need to know before they adjourn in May whether the funding setup needs major adjustments.
The chairwoman of the state's stadium authority says costs so far are being covered with a $50 million initial payment from the Vikings.
Associated Press contributed to this story.
The document below shows the fiscal projections provided by the Minnesota Gambling Control Board. Use the tools to enlarge. Click here to see a comparison of projections vs. actual receipts. (Story continues below.)