Axios Twin Cities reported [Bloomington hints at sports-entertainment complex - Axios Twin Cities] Monday, December 5, that the Bloomington City Council will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, December 7 to approve “up to $95.2 million in a spending on economic development projects.”
One wouldn’t know this from the City’s website. Bloomington lists a “City Council/Port Authority Concurrent Meeting” on Wednesday starting at 6 pm. Under “New Business”, the agenda lists “PUBLIC HEARING: Amended and Restated Spending Plan for tax increments from MOA Tax Increment Financing Districts.”
No more details. The Public Hearing notice on the city website, initially posted Thanksgiving Day (11/24) and updated Nov 29, provides information on how to participate.
The Axios Twin Cities article points out that $55 million of the $95.2 million is already earmarked to subsidize a $430 million water park first proposed in 2019 to be built and managed by the Mall of America. This is the water park that was to begin construction this fall, but the Mall of America says it is being delayed by high interest rates and construction costs.
Now, in addition to subsidizing the Mall of America water park, Bloomington city staff are asking to spend $40 million for a “sports complex, and/or event or entertainment facility near the megamall.”
The Bloomington City Council has also proposed a city sales tax[Bloomington sales tax information | City of Bloomington MN] to raise money to for upgrades to the Dwan Golf Course, the Bloomington Center for the Arts, and the Bloomington Ice Garden, as well as a new “community health and wellness center.”
All of this proposed spending is on top of a significant increase in Bloomington’s property taxes. It would appear that the $95.2 million in “tax increments from MOA Tax Increment Financing Districts” cannot be used to offset the need to raise these taxes. One would think that the City should just let the Tax Increment Financing Districts expire and let the MOA tax revenue go into the general city coffers.