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April 26, 2015

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Sandoval says he’d veto Las Vegas Strip arena proposal in current form

Despite objections over a proposed tax increase, Sandoval cautions ‘lots of things’ could happen


Leila Navidi

Governor-elect Brian Sandoval speaks during a press conference at Jones Vargas law firm in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010.

CARSON CITY – Despite two pending lawsuits, a petition to build an 18,000-seat arena on the Las Vegas Strip will be one of the first things to come before the 2011 Legislature.

The Legislature has 40 days to act on the plan, which pits casino giant Caesars Entertainment Corp. on one side supporting the proposal against MGM Resorts International, which opposes it.

That presents the question of whether Gov. Brian Sandoval, who opposes new taxes, would sign the measure if approved by the Legislature.

Sandoval said Tuesday he would veto the initiative in its present form because it contains a tax. But, he said, there are “lots of things” that could happen to the proposal.

The initiative petition, which has 157,778 certified signatures from registered voters, calls for a 0.9 percent increase in the sales and use tax to be imposed in a gaming enterprise zone on the Strip. Only 97,000 signatures were needed to qualify the petition.

The Arena Initiative Committee, which is pushing for the indoor stadium, filed its response in district court in Carson City last Thursday to a suit that seeks to block the plan.

Opponents claim signatures for the petition were gathered fraudulently. They say many are invalid and there were problems with the affidavits that would disqualify the petition from going forward.

Taxpayers for the Protection of Nevada Jobs also has an appeal in Nevada Supreme Court claiming the petition is deficient because it contains more than one topic. A district judge initially rejected the suit.

Jason Woodbury, attorney for the supporters of the arena, said the initiative must be presented and processed by the Legislature unless blocked by legal action.

Woodbury said briefs in the Supreme Court appeal haven’t been filed yet. And there hasn't been any hearing set before District Judge James Wilson in the second suit that was filed.

If the Legislature approves the petition and the governor were to sign it, it would then become law. Or the Legislature could reject it and it would go onto the 2012 ballot. If the governor vetoes the measure and the Legislature doesn't override it, the petition would go on the election ballot, Woodbury said.

Lorne Malkiewich, director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau, said the arena proposal would be Initiative Petition 1.

In the 2009 Legislature, Initiative Petition 1 was presented and passed by the Legislature to require Clark and Washoe counties to raise the hotel room tax by up to 3 percent.

Former Gov. Jim Gibbons declined to sign the petition and it became law without his approval. The funds received from the extra tax went to support schools.

The Nevada Constitution says the Secretary of State must present the petition to the Legislature as soon as it convenes. It must take precedent over all other matters except appropriations bills, according to the constitution.

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  1. Don't build the Transcontinental Railroad, the Erie Canal, the Interstate Highway System, the Hoover Dam, The O'Callighan-Tillman Bridge.

    This guy sounds like another "anti-government wacko" thing you know he will be on the Internet posing with his Glock in a Red g-String.

    The history of mankind has involved Government, Kings, priests, nobles, governments supporting endeavors by the private sector. Who funded, Galileo, Einstein, Salk, Sabin??

    The Rose Bowl is being improved by the City of Pasadena to the tune of $150 million. We will fall behind because of this teapot kook GOVO.2.

  2. The Governor can and will do as he pleases. But if he is going to have the state steal money from the local governments of Clark and Washoe Counties, it would seem fair to allow them some means of their own choosing to create some economic activity and generate some local revenue.

  3. Good move, Brian. Let's kill something that would employ people, bring in revenue and give people another reason to come to Las Vegas.

  4. Recall the gov now!

  5. Study after study has shown that pro teams & their stadiums do not contribute a dime to the economy; they just shift money from one sectors pockets to another. This scheme is back-door welfare for the rich which I thought you leftists vigorously oppose. (Do you know any poor or homeless people who own a pro sports franchise?) At least be consistent in your beliefs or be labled hypocrites! So, if there is to be a sports arena, no tax $s should be used to fund it. Period!

  6. Amen, Jerry. I firmly believe that people have a certain amount of disposable income. And they're going to spend it somewhere: restaurants, stores, casinos, whatever. At worst, they go on vacation somewhere out of town.

    Why should we subsidize an industry like a pro team for false belief that it generates additional income to the region? I doubt it would generate more visitors to the region, nor would it cause existing visitors to spend more in town.

  7. This is a bad idea. There are enough taxes on tourists as it is.

    If Caesar's wants the arena, it can build it (without tax money).

  8. A tax on the local Business area is the usual way Arenas are paid for. If you do not wish to support the arena don't go into the area where the tax is levied. I don't know of any top 20 city (LV is in the Top 30) that does not have an NBA type arena. If Las Vegas loses the PBR, Music Awards, etc., etc. the economic impact will be more than just helping them with some bonds.
    I prefer a Casino would not own the Arena since most of their concert ticket price structures gouge local residents with higher prices than paid other cities.
    There are a lot of people on these forums that are very negative on Las Vegas, wish for the "Old Days" etc... Everything will never be the way it was. We all must push for a city where the Casino influence will be diminished and a new Health Care Tourism and Medical and Engineering Research University drive the development of the New Economy.

  9. Let's just make it easier for entrepreneur's to establish businesses by reducing the red tape and the cost of obtaining licenses. That would be fair to everyone contemplating opening or expanding a business and take "favoritism" out of the process. After all, why should we have bureaucrats, elected or unelected, choosing who gets subsidized and who does not? That's when graft, payola and back-room deals become more important then the actual proposal's chance of being viable in the marketplace. Ever hear of Herrera, Kenny, Malone & Chauncy What's-Her-Face?