Edited 8:30 a.m. 5-23-16
In the final hours of the Minnesota State Legislature, the Senate approved House Bill 848 which provides property tax exemption for the Minnesota United stadium planned for the Midway area of St. Paul. The Senate approved the vote 55-12. With the passing of the bill, the measure will now be sent to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to sign.
While the property tax exemption flew through the House and Senate, the sales tax exemption on construction materials was not added by the House. All tax bills have to originate in the House before they are sent to the Senate. The sales tax exemption was requested by the team but it would have been a minimal amount compared to the cost of holding off the stadium construction for another year. It was not believed to be a deal killer.
Earlier in the day, the House passed the bill after it came out of conference committee on Sunday morning. That measure was passed by an overwhelming majority of 123-10 in the republican controlled House .
The liquor license portion of the stadium bill had been placed in the omnibus supplemental spending bill and was oddly being debated on both House and Senate floors at the same time. The House passed that bill at 10:50 p.m.
— David Montgomery (@dhmontgomery) May 23, 2016
The democratic controlled Senate passed their bill at 11:15 p.m. with 45 minutes left to spare in the 2016 session.
If the bills are signed into law by Governor Dayton, it will most likely flip a switch for a chain of announcements from the league and the team.
With the bill signed MLS will approve Minnesota as the 23rd franchise in the league. It will also allow the league and team to announce the Loons joining MLS in 2017. In turn that will allow the team to announce their venue for their first season in MLS which is believed to be TCF Bank Stadium. Lastly, it could also signal the end of the name Minnesota United. Prior reports by Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated has said that with his persuasive powers, Atlanta’s owner Arthur Blank secured the name Atlanta United for his team meaning Minnesota would have to be renamed. The subject has been a contentious subject, not just amongst Minnesota fans but MLS fans across the country as well as Atlanta.
On Monday morning, Minnesota Public Radio reported that the governor’s office said they could take up to 48 hours to decide whether or not to sign the bills into law.