Panel clears obstacle for Vikings stadium project

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- A local panel in Minnesota has decided not to call a referendum on a proposed sales tax hike to pay for a new Vikings stadium.

The vote Tuesday night by Ramsey County's Charter Commission clears an obstacle for the Vikings' plan for a $1 billion stadium in Arden Hills. Just six members of the county's Charter Commission supported the countywide tax referendum, with 10 opposing it.

County residents testified by about a 2-to-1 margin against the tax hike at a public hearing preceding the decision.

The Vikings had complained that putting the half-cent tax hike before voters would delay the project by two years and add at least $110 million to the stadium proposal.

The Vikings also have noted that the Twins got money from a Hennepin County sales tax for Target Field without a referendum.