Tax district delayed to create funding plan
Higher education leaders must name members to a UNLV Now authority board for the 60,000-seat mega-stadium project to progress.
The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents has until Aug. 31 to appoint the four members of the 11-man board. If they do not, project plans may grind to a halt.
The authority board is created by a UNLV Now legislative bill, Assembly Bill 335, and will have the responsibility of putting together a report for the 2015 legislative session detailing funding and infrastructure for the project. AB 335 passed unanimously in the state legislature and must now be signed by
the Governor before it becomes law. Now the Board of Regents must do their part so plans detailed in the bill will be set in motion.
“[The] Board of Regents must take action for this bill to go forward,” said Gerry Bomotti, UNLV’s senior vice president for finance and business, on Friday at the Board of Regents meeting. “In fact, if you do not, if the board does not name the four members that you have authority over by the end of August of this year, the bill basically goes away.”
If the regents name its four members by deadline, seven other members, including two executives from the resort industry, will be named by October.
Originally, AB 335 was intended to create a special tax district to funnel property tax monies toward the stadium project. But when UNLV parted ways with its long-time partner Majestic Realty and resort stakeholders showed signs of disinterest in UNLV Now, university leaders thought it best to tweak the bill to simply create the authority board and delay any tax initiatives.
A special tax district may still be created in the future, but for now emphasis is on an authority board that would provide a stable vision for the project.
“[The authority board] really allows … for us to bring together the stakeholders in an open, transparent manner,” said Don Snyder, the pointman for UNLV Now, on Friday.
If all goes according to plan with the authority board, the center would hold football games, concerts and international sporting events. These attractions would rake in millions of dollars for UNLV and the Las Vegas community.
Regent Jack Schofield urged his fellow regents at Friday’s meeting to support UNLV Now.
“It’ll bring in millions of dollars into Las Vegas,” Schofield said. “It’ll just change UNLV into a major university so that it’ll have a place for the football stadium. Just one after the other, the positive things will happen.”
The Board of Regents is expected to name its four representatives to the authority board at its meeting on July 19.