FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 21,2016
Contact: Jill Dickman | Jill@Votejilldickman.com
Northern Nevada— It is well known that I am fiscally conservative and fight to keep taxes low. Therefore, I went into the special session on the Southern Nevada Tourism Improvement Act expecting not to be supportive.
What I learned through the days of testimony from industry experts, representatives from the largest conventions in the world, and the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce is that there was unanimous support for this plan from public and private sector experts who served on the Southern Nevada Tourism and Infrastructure Committee (SNTIC) and vetted this project for a year and a half.
Just as the development of the Tesla Gigafactory is transforming the economy of Northern Nevada, the Southern Nevada Tourism Improvement Act will be a major boon for Nevada’s economy. The economic impact of these projects is massive; 18,700 new construction jobs and over 8,000 permanent jobs will be created. An estimated 10% increase in room occupancy, which will generate over $30 million per year, is directed to education throughout the state.
I spoke to my colleagues from the south, listened to testimony from the Chamber and the Las Vegas Convention & Visitor's Authority and ultimately, I supported this plan after determining that my constituents would not be at risk.
There are many false statements being thrown around for political purposes, but here is the truth: the convention center expansion and renovation is a major component of this plan, and it is imperative if Nevada is to keep the large, revenue generating conventions. We are competing worldwide to host these conventions. As for the stadium, it is a publicly owned stadium that will be built with both public and private money, with the majority of the investment coming from private dollars. No private investor will own the stadium. Further, the private developers are now obligated under law to cover any and all cost overruns so that the taxpayer portion is capped and protected. Additionally, this is all paid with a modest increase in the room tax applied only to the Las Vegas Strip area… a tax that is intended to be used for tourism development and promotion.
While we, in Nevada, continue to diversify our economy, we are still the unsurpassed leader for world-class entertainment, and 40% of our general fund revenues come from entertainment and gaming.
Further, it was my desire that we could have met in a special session to address and fix the remaining issues with the Education Savings Accounts (ESA) program. Unfortunately, there were not enough of us to force such a fix. We now have commitments from the Governor and many influential groups that the ESAs will be a top priority in the 2017 legislative session. Trust that this is now, and has always been, my top priority.
Reasonable people can disagree, but a bipartisan, supermajority vote of both the Assembly and Senate approved this economic development plan, one that grows and modernizes the Convention Center and builds a football stadium for UNLV with the commitment of an NFL team moving to Las Vegas. All without any cost to Nevadans.