At least two groups are opposing a new NFL stadium in Las Vegas, as the Nevada Taxpayers Association and Nevadans for the Common Good have come out against the plan.
The separate announcements from the groups come after two major developments for the concept that would lure the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas. After reviewing the proposal from the Raiders, Majestic Realty, and the Las Vegas Sands Corp, the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee (SNTIC) voted to recommend a $750 million public contribution to the Las Vegas stadium, which is currently estimated to cost $1.9 billion. That verdict was passed on to Nevada governor Brian Sandoval, who announced last week that state officials will vote on the project as part of a special session this fall.
As is proposed, the Las Vegas stadium will be funded by a 0.88% increase in Clark County’s hotel tax, along with a 0.5% increase on the hotel taxes in outlying areas. Sandoval and state legislators are also expected to consider tax increases that would fund other initiatives, including an expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The Nevada Taxpayers Association has issued a 16-point statement against the $750 million contribution for the proposed stadium. According to president Anna Thornley, the association’s concerns touch upon several issues, including the cost of the public contribution and profit share from the stadium. More from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Among the 16 concerns listed by the taxpayers association: that there are other more pressing needs for room-tax revenue; that no revenue source is under consideration as a backup funding mechanism if room tax revenues underperform; the lack of public profit sharing if the stadium is successful; and no assurances that the Raiders would leave Las Vegas if the stadium were built.
The organization also noted that the proposal comes at a time the governor “has asked state agencies to cut their budgets by up to $300 million to cover shortfalls because other taxes are underperforming.” The association also said there is no evidence that a publicly funded stadium brings any benefit to taxpayers and that there is “significant data indicating that subsidized stadiums can be a detriment to a community.”
“We will work to raise these concerns with lawmakers as we prepare for the special session of the Legislature,” Thornley said in her email
Before voting to recommend the plan, the SNTIC has proposed tweaks to the stadium funding package that included a 39% cap on the public contribution–effectively lowering the $750 million share if the project came in below cost–and another that offered some public return on investment. In the end, both provisions were not a part of the plan that was sent to Sandoval.
In a separate statement, Nevadans for the Common Good outlined concerns that were similar to that of the Nevada Taxpayers Association. It is also contending that the stadium’s hidden risks have not been fully explored. Nevadans for the Common Good–which includes over 40 religious and nonprofits groups–will issue a more detailed report about its concerns on Wednesday.
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