The Oakland Raiders took another big step in becoming the Las Vegas Raiders. On Tuesday, the Nevada Senate amended and passed a bill raising room taxes in Clark County to help fund a domed stadium for the Raiders and convention center improvements in Las Vegas. Senate Bill 1 was approved by a 16-5 vote, clearing the 14-vote threshold needed to pass a tax increase.
However, the bill still needs approval from the Nevada General Assembly, which reconvenes on Thursday.
The bill would boost the room tax rate by 0.88 of a percentage point to finance $750 million in general obligation bonds over 30 years. Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson has pledged $650 million; the Raiders have committed $500 million. SB1 raises lodging taxes mostly paid by tourists to help pay for a $1.9 billion domed stadium. Ongoing expenses would be paid for by “about $35 million per year in taxes generated” on stadium grounds.
The 65,000-seat stadium, which will also be the home to the UNLV football team, does not have a determined site as of yet.
Gov. Brian Sandoval said the new stadium represents an opportunity to take Las Vegas to a new level as an international entertainment destination.
The stadium deal is not without its opponents.
“This will be ladies and gentlemen, the largest tax increase in the history of the state of Nevada,” Clark County Commissioner Chris Guinchigliani said.
“The scam of this stadium might benefit a couple billionaires, but it ‘s a high-risk investment for our state,” said Bob Fulkerson, a protester with the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.
Raiders owner Mark Davis said he will seek to bring the team to Las Vegas if the stadium is built.
Davis would then pitch the move to NFL owners, 75% of whom must approve any team relocation. The owners are expected to next meet in January.