Las Vegas Sun

September 16, 2014

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Council to consider special tax district for Symphony Park area

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and Symphony Park are seen Wednesday, June 12, 2013.

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An artist’s rendering shows a proposed design for a future Major League Soccer stadium to be located in Symphony Park near the Smith Center. The proposal was announced Wednesday, May 14, 2014, by Findlay Sports and Cordish Companies.

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This is a map of a proposed Tourism Improvement District downtown, which would be a way for the city to help fund a soccer stadium, and other things.

With a deadline for private developers to come up with a plan for financing a downtown soccer stadium still three months away, elected officials next week may provide some insight into how the city of Las Vegas might help with funding.

The City Council on Wednesday will consider a bill creating a Tourism Improvement District on 59 acres that include Symphony Park and some nearby parcels. Findlay Sports and The Cordish Companies have targeted Symphony Park, a large parcel west of Main Street and east of Interstate 15, as a favored site for the proposed stadium.

At a meeting last week, the council gave Findlay and Cordish until Sept. 1 to submit to the city a financial plan for a stadium suitable for a Major League Soccer franchise.

Some council members warned, however, they would not support a plan that required taxpayer dollars.

A Tourism Improvement District creates project funding through the collection of sales taxes, which allows a municipality to issue long-term debt.

State law dictates eight conditions have to be met to create a Tourism Improvement District. Among them: the state Commission on Tourism has to find that a preponderance of the sales and use taxes collected in the district are “attributable to tourists who are not residents of the state.”

If a Tourism Improvement District is approved, a municipality may collect up 75 percent of the sales and use taxes generated within the district, then pledge those collections to a project through the issuance of long-term debt in the form of Sales Tax Anticipated Revenue Bonds.

The City Council meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 495 S. Main St.

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