Tim Pawlenty's Tax Hike

| Thu Jun. 16, 2011 5:26 PM EDT

Turns out that Tim Pawlenty is just another big government tax raiser. Five years ago he proved it at a Twins game:

In the presence of team owner Carl Pohlad and former Twins greats such as Harmon Killebrew and Kent Hrbek, Pawlenty took a seat at an infield table and signed into law a bill authorizing construction of a $522 million outdoor stadium in downtown Minneapolis.... Though the Twins agreed to pay approximately one-third of the cost, the rest of the bill was to be footed by a 0.15 percent sales tax hike in Hennepin County — a relatively small encumbrance on the state’s largest county, but an increased tax burden nonetheless. The bill was controversial, since the state legislature and Pawlenty took advantage of a 1997 law to grant the county board permission to enact the new tax without a voter referendum.

Nobody is going to care about this. But they should! It's one thing to be a rabid anti-tax conservative, but it's quite another to be a rabid anti-tax conservative who makes an exception for the worst possible tax increase on the planet. If you can come up with any poorer excuse for a tax hike than yet another subsidy for a millionaire billionaire sports team owner, I'd like to hear it. In fact —

Oh wait. A millionaire billionaire sports team owner and a regressive sales tax increase. Now I get it. Sorry for the momentary lapse.

UPDATE: Turns out Pohlad is actually a billionaire, not just some scruffy millionaire. Thanks to Ryan in comments for pointing this out.

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