DMC Reality Check: Following the dollars - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

DMC Reality Check: Following the dollars

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- It's big.

It's unprecedented.

And it's on the way to Rochester.

"The economic impact here can't be overstated, I don't think at all," said Ardell Brede, Rochester Mayor and DMCC Board Member.

So how much money are we talking anyway?

Using Mayo Clinic's own projections, we're looking at as much as nearly $6.3 billion.

All coming into Rochester.

All over the next 20 years.

That's about equivalent to building a new Vikings stadium in the heart of downtown Rochester every three years for all of DMC -- or nearly six and half Vikings stadiums.

"DMC is really a project that will show what kind of investment can happen in Rochester and what kind of interest there is in Rochester Minnesota," said Mayo Clinic's DMC Administrator Lisa Clarke.

The largest chunk of money is expected to be spent by the Mayo Clinic itself.

It's pledging around $3.2 billion dollars -- that's more than half of all DMC money expected.

"We want to invest in Rochester," Clarke said. "We want to stay here. We want to grow here. We want to continue to be great partners here."

The next largest number is expected to come from other private investors, up to $2.5 billion.

That's likely to be a number of companies, bringing things like hotels, skyscrapers, shopping, dining, entertainment and more.

Remember the EDA?

Part of its job will be to try and get those people here.

"We need to market and tell nationally and internationally the reasons for coming to Mayo Clinic and to Rochester Minnesota," said Clarke.

The next chunk and by far the smallest comes from tax dollars.

$585 million is coming from the city, county and state combined.

This number was the whole point of the state legislation.

This money goes toward building the infrastructure to support whatever the Mayo Clinic and those other private developers decide to build.

"It's not about spending 585 million dollars," said Lisa Clarke. "Actually its about leveraging those dollars so that we can drive $5 to $6 billion to the state of Minnesota and to Rochester."

Let's break down that $585 million.

$128 million of it is coming from the city of Rochester.

That's tax money generated right in the city.

"The legislature gave us some tools, if you will, to say 'how are you going to raise that money?'" said Mayor Brede. "Some of it will come from new taxes obviously when these new developments start, but that doesn't happen right away."

On that list, the city can tax hotel stays, food and drinks or tickets to things like movies and concerts.

The city can also extend the half cent sales tax or add an additional quarter cent.

"At this point the city is not decided definitively exactly which of those we'll need," said Rochester City Council President Randy Staver. "Some of that will depend on how soon we need the dollars."

The last chunk, and the smallest in the whole legislation comes from Olmsted county -- $40 million.

That's specifically transit money too.

And that comes with a small list of taxes that County can use to raise it, and officials have already decided which tools to use.

"We're doing a $10 wheelage tax on all vehicles and then a quarter of a cent sales tax on all purchases in Olmsted County," said Olmsted County Board Chair and DMC Board Member Jim Bier.

The rest of the money, something around $417 million, is coming from the state of Minnesota.

But there are a lot of rules there too.

That money only comes to Rochester after the Mayo Clinic and private developers spend $200 million first.

When it does come, the amount is calculated by a few equations based on how much The Clinic, private developers and the county spend in a given year.

So if they don't hold up their end of the deal, the money doesn't come.

But no one is really expecting that outcome.

So we're all getting ready, and waiting, and planning.

"The Disney Corporation has a job title that's call imagineers, and I think we all will be imagineers," said Mayor Brede.

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