Arena Tax Heading to Legislature
The 2011 Nevada Legislature will consider a sales tax increase to fund a new sports arena near the Las Vegas Strip. The secretary of state’s office has confirmed enough signatures were collected on an initiative that would raise the state sales tax by nine-tenths of one cent in a designated three-mile zone which includes the Strip. The revenue would fund construction of a 20,000 seat arena on nearby land owned by Caesars Entertainment. Under state law, the Legislature must act on the bill within 40 days after the start of the new session in February. If lawmakers reject it, the issue would go before voters in 2012. But the tax proposal isn’t the only hurdle facing the arena. The project is opposed by some of Caesars’ rivals, including MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming. They have until next week to file a lawsuit that would challenge the petition. An attorney for the rival resorts says a court challenge is likely. The Caesars arena plan also faces oppostion from Mayor Oscar Goodman and other Las Vegas city officials, who are instead pushing for a new arena to be built downtown.