- Associated Press - Thursday, July 24, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Officials looking for a way to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for a proposed stadium at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas are throwing around the idea of increasing the sales tax throughout Clark County.

UNLV stadium board member and regent James Dean Leavitt also suggested a hotel room tax hike on the Las Vegas Strip, saying the resort industry and county overall would reap the benefits of a stadium.

“It benefits the resort industry by creating an asset that through event programming will bring tourists to Las Vegas from all over the world throughout each month of the years,” Leavitt wrote in a letter to the UNLV stadium board that was provided at a Wednesday meeting

Costs for the project range from $523 million for an open-air, shaded venue of 42,000 seats, to $833 million for a domed stadium of 60,000 seats. A domed stadium would hold 21 non-UNLV football events a year for a total attendance of 845,000 a year, according to stadium board consultant Bill Rhoda, while an open-air stadium would host 11 non-UNLV football events a year and draw attendance of 404,000.

UNLV President Don Snyder, the board’s chairman, said raising sales tax is the most viable alternative.

But board member and county commissioner Chris Giunchigliani said a sales tax increase would disproportionately hurt people on fixed incomes, while any room tax hike should be devoted to another project: an expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“The convention center expansion is first in line,” she said.

Project funding options included bumping county sales tax from 8.1 percent to 8.37 percent, raising sales tax only on the Strip, and raising room taxes.

Any tax increase must first be approved by the Legislature.

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