Target Field on track for early payoff

The Star Tribune is reporting that the debt on Target Field may get an early payoff. The county was expected to be servicing bonds on its part of the deal through 2037, with revenue from a 0.15 percent county-wide sales tax. Apparently low interest rates and good tax collections are filling up the coffers early, and allowing some prepayment.

Here's how Hennepin County explains the original deal:

The sales tax authorized by the Board of Commissioners in 2006 made the construction of Target Field possible by funding $350 million in bonds. The revenue also funds the Hennepin Youth Sports Program, which provides approximately $2 million annually in capital grants for youth sports facilities. An additional $2 million annually funds Ballpark Sundays — expanded operating hours at 13 Hennepin County Libraries — as well as Ballpark Mondays at Hennepin County Library – Central.

The Strib makes some reference to the Vikings deal, which is also funded by a sales tax -- but on $1.4 billion in new electronic pulltabs and bingo gambling, not sure-bet retail sales. Minneapolis does have some sales tax money in the deal, but they won't have revenue to pay until after their Convention Center bonds are closed in 2020. The city is also anticipating paying half of a $100 million refurb of Target Center.

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