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April 17, 2014

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Legislature 2013:

Tax district aspect to UNLV Now stadium bill gets a tweak

Image

Paul Takahashi

A model of the UNLV Now stadium project is shown here at the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Board of Regents meeting on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. UNLV and its private developer partners updated regents on the project, which now features a 100-yard-long video screen and six VIP suites seating 300 people.

UNLV Now Stadium Renderings

UNLV Now mega events center rendering. Launch slideshow »

UNLV Now Stadium

A model of the UNLV Now stadium project is shown here at the Nevada System of Higher Education's Board of Regents meeting on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. UNLV and its private developer partners updated regents on the project, which now features a 100-yard-long video screen and six VIP suites seating 300 people. Launch slideshow »

A tax-increment financing plan may no longer be part of the UNLV stadium bill, according to discussions between university officials and lawmakers.

Assembly Bill 335 was intended to create a special tax district that would partially fund a proposed new stadium at UNLV's Maryland Parkway campus.

While the bill may still outline the boundaries of a potential new tax district, it's now unlikely it will have any language pertaining to the actual collection of these taxes, said UNLV Now project leader Don Snyder.

Lawmakers in Carson City are expected to hear the amended stadium bill Thursday morning.

In mid-March, Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick introduced AB355. It came just days after UNLV parted ways with Majestic Realty.

The university dropped its private developer partner so the stadium project could gain input and eventually financial support from the wider resort industry. It was a big gamble, because Majestic had pledged 40 percent of the stadium's cost — $360 million to $400 million.

"We're stepping back to make sure there is a full commitment from all stakeholders to do this project," Snyder said. "It doesn't make sense to initiate a taxing process until we know that this project is absolutely moving forward."

AB335 would still create a campus improvement authority, Snyder said.

This nine-member board was initially intended to oversee the tax district and any new tax monies collected from the proposed stadium and student village. However if the tax-increment financing plan is nixed, the authority may take on a new, more "academic" role, Snyder said.

The authority may be expanded to include legislative appointments and act more like an interim study committee, taking community input on the stadium's design and financing.

"The focus of this authority over the next 18 months is to conceive a planning process that will engage all stakeholders," Snyder said. "Until we sort out what the project is going to look like and its cost, the fiscal part is premature."

Since UNLV dropped Majestic, Snyder has called this campus authority the next step in a more collaborative process toward developing a "mega-events center."

The authority would enable UNLV to seek input on the size of its stadium, as well as what amenities it should have. Once the university and the resort community agree on the project's scope, the authority would help determine the stadium's ultimate price tag and make recommendations for possible action in the 2015 legislative session.

"There's no heartburn at all about not having a (tax increment financing) language at this time," Snyder said. "It's not a large part of the total financing and it wasn't going to provide any money until we have the project (constructed) anyway.

"I like the direction AB335 has taken," he added. "I feel pretty confident in this bill moving forward."

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  1. unlv has bigger problems to deal with than worrying about a stadium . classes are being dropped ,faculty are leaving ,tuition rates are rising ,student enrollment is on a decrease, state funding is being cutback,the athletic dept.is in the red,etc,. the resort and casino industry will not back this .they don't want there customers leaving the strip corridor for any events other than there own .

  2. Except for NFR, NASCAR, EDC, etc. Argument FAIL