Group has concerns about funding for new NFL stadium

LAS VEGAS - Three Washoe County Commissioners will fill vacant seats in the legislature ahead of a special session.  The special session expected to get underway next month has been called to discuss a proposed NFL stadium.

Legislators will have to decide if they want to approve a room tax increase to pay for the city's $750 million share of a nearly $2 billion NFL stadium.

However, the special session is expected to be met with resistance by a non-profit named Nevadans for Common Good.  The group studied the stadium plan, and they say it's perfect for investors and developers.

According to Nevadans for Common Good, there are seven hidden risks for taxpayers.
 
For instance, the group says using tax money on the stadium will jeopardize other projects such as roads, mass transportation systems, future schools and hospitals.

"This is a bad deal for Clark County, and it's residents, said Rev. Dr. Marta Poling Schmitt.  "Remember we're not against the stadium; we're just against the current plan for finding and financing it."

Nevadans for Common Good represent 40 church congregations and nonprofits.  In four years alone, the group has helped pass sex trafficking legislation, increased Medicaid waivers for seniors and passed several educational initiatives.
   
Other hidden risks according to the group consist of, "It's not just the 750 million dollars we're going to borrow, it's the over a billion dollars that we're going to have to raise to pay it back with interest," Carl Scarbrough of the St. Elizabeth Roman Catholic Church said.

The group also claims room taxes will be insufficient when the next recession hits.  They say the 33-year bonds needed to fund the plan will increase costs to the public and the history shows it's a "money pit."

"Cincinatti is a city which went through a similar thing, and it had to cut projects and investments to pay off its debt for the Paul Brown Stadium where the Bengals play," said Charles Redmond, Univ. United Methodist Member.

Despite opposition, the $1.9 billion dollar plan has cleared every local hurdle.  Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak says the NFL project makes everyone a winner.  The plan unanimously won the vote of the Southern Nevada Tourism infrastructure committee two weeks ago.

The final risk for having taxpayers pay for a portion of the stadium is the stadium benefits are based on unrealistic projections, according to the Nevadans for Common Good.

All of the points by Nevadans for Common Good have been heard, but the fate of the plan is in the hands of state lawmakers and the governor.

The special session meets in October.
 


 


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