House committee chair wants to end hospitality tax

The Republican chair of the House Tax Committee said he would like to end the hospitality taxes Minneapolis has pledged to a Vikings stadium.

Representative Greg Davids of Preston would not rule out preserving the taxes as part of a stadium deal, but he questioned the use of the taxes after the Minneapolis convention center's debt is paid off in 2020.

"It's a stand-alone bill that simply takes a very regressive tax that has been very successful and has collected more than it needs to, and so we're just going to phase this out," Davids said. "It's very regressive and the people of Minneapolis are paying this. We want to give them a little relief."

The city has suggested putting as much as $13 million annually from the revenue collected by the hospitality taxes towards a new stadium. The taxes are expected to collect about $51 million this year. Nearly half of that already goes to pay debt on the convention center.

The half-percent sales tax, downtown 3 percent food and liquor tax, and a hotel tax won't be necessary once the debt on the convention center is paid, Davids said. His bill would phase out these taxes — which are also the same set of taxes the city has pledged to pay for a Vikings stadium.

A hearing on Davids' bill is scheduled for Thursday.

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