We won’t see a vote on a new Las Vegas Athletics ballpark until next week, as the Nevada Legislature adjourns for the weekend and amendments to the legislation are still being debated by Senate leaders.
Most legislators and political insiders expected the Nevada Senate to vote on SB1, which would set up $180 million in transferrable state tax credits for the A’s and order Clark County to cover $145 million on ballpark costs ($120 million directly in bonds for the ballpark and $25 million for infrastructure credits) backed by a sales-tax and payroll tax revenue generated by the ballpark. The requisite legislative debate had completed, and while there’s not exactly a tsunami wave of support, it was expected that amendments to the bill could sway some undecideds. It is a two-step process for Senate approval: a committee vote comes before consideration by the full Senate. If the votes happen, they’d come Monday, when the Senate reconvenes.
Instead, the Senate adjourned and will take up the issue next week, presumably after some amendments are finalized and fence-sitting senators are persuaded to support the measure. Opposition to the legislation does appear to be bipartisan in the Democratic-controlled Senate. From the Nevada Independent:
Democratic senators told presenters during the hearing that they expected to see amendments to the stadium bill addressing issues raised during the regular session. However, sources granted anonymity because discussions about the bill are ongoing said Thursday that senators were seeing amendments for the first time that day and still evaluating the proposal.
On Wednesday, Sen. Fabian Doñate (D-Las Vegas) said he wanted to see a change ensuring the Live Entertainment Tax would apply to A’s home games. In state law, professional sports teams such as the Vegas Golden Knights playing at home in Nevada are exempt from the 9 percent tax on admissions charges to large live entertainment facilities.
Sen. Edgar Flores (D-Las Vegas) meanwhile requested stricter requirements in state law related to the community benefits agreement — a contract that would require the A’s to make certain contributions to the community. That included a request that the team makes the same contributions it made to a food bank in California to similar efforts in Nevada.
Ah, those pesky community benefits. A disagreement over community benefits helped kill the Howard Terminal proposal for an Oakland ballpark. But while Oakland was seeking a much larger commitment to community benefits, the Nevada ask is considerably more modest, it seems, including things like contributions to a local food bank.
Rendering courtesy Oakland A’s.
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