Las Vegas

Ticket tax could block pro sports expansion, Raiders’, Knights’ officials say

Officials {of professional} sports groups based mostly in Las Vegas say a proposal so as to add a dwell leisure tax to tickets for pro sports video games could deter different leagues from becoming a member of the market.

Senate Bill 367, launched by Sen. Dina Neal, D-North Las Vegas, would add a 9 % dwell leisure tax (LET) to tickets for video games performed by the Raiders, Golden Knights and Las Vegas Aces. The invoice would additionally amend the brink for nonprofit occasions exempt from the tax from 7,500 tickets to five,000.

Pro sports franchises have been exempt from the tax since 2015 when it was up to date. The tax is levied on occasions with greater than 200 seats or attendees, corresponding to live shows or reveals held at hotel-casinos and arenas.

Citing the financial impression the pandemic has had on the state, particularly dwell leisure, Neal stated now is an efficient time to incorporate skilled sports underneath the dwell leisure tax umbrella.

“The reason I’m tampering with the LET is because when I saw the economic forecast and I saw that number, I was like, ‘We’re at ground zero,’” Neal stated throughout a meeting Tuesday of the Senate Revenue and Economic Development Committee. “The best time to make revenue change is when you’re at ground zero.”

In fiscal year 2020, the dwell leisure tax generated $131 million in tax income in Nevada, in comparison with FY 2021’s projection of $6.2 million, or a 93 % dip. FY 2022 is forecast to generate $64.4 million, based on a handout offered throughout Tuesday’s listening to.

An even enjoying subject?

Neal stated she didn’t see why skilled sports groups shouldn’t be taxed the identical as different massive occasions.

“Gaming pays it, so why not the major sports teams that were operating in the state?” Neal questioned. She additionally stated the legislature could exempt beginner sports or minor league groups, such because the Las Vegas Lights, from paying the tax.

Raiders President Marc Badain stated the truth that pro sports groups have been exempt from the dwell leisure tax was an element within the Raiders relocating to Las Vegas final year.

“Before committing to Las Vegas we discussed the lack of Nevada’s ticket tax on professional sports teams as a specifically negotiated part of the financing structure that brought the team to Las Vegas,” Badain stated.

Sen. Moises Denis, D-Las Vegas, stated he understood Neal’s want to make a fair enjoying subject, however famous the gaming sector is a protracted standing business within the state whereas main skilled sports in Las Vegas remains to be in its infancy.

“We still don’t have an NBA team, we still don’t have an MLS (Major League Soccer) team and we have to compete against other cities,” Denis stated. “My concern is that we’re kind of young in this particular type of expansion into our economy and I’m just wondering if this would be a disincentive to attract other teams.”

Badain agreed that the tax could deter different main pro sports groups from Las Vegas as a attainable residence.

“We would love to see the day the NBA decides to join the WNBA’s Aces or when MLS joins the NFL and NHL here in Las Vegas,” Badain stated. “Imposing the LET on Nevada-based teams would be viewed as a negative for leagues and teams comparing markets when they contemplate relocation or expansion.”

Other tax income

Badain famous that objects bought at Raiders video games, UNLV soccer video games and live shows generate tax income.

“Every hot dog, soda, T-shirt sold at these events generate tax revenue,” Badain informed senators. “Every hotel room occupied by visitors (for) these events generate room tax revenue. Thousands of jobs are created because of this stadium.”

The Legislature in 2016 authorized $750 million in public money to go towards the development of what’s now Allegiant Stadium, which was a significant incentive to attract the Raiders from Oakland to Las Vegas. That money is being generated by a 0.88 % room tax on Clark County lodge rooms.

Chip Seigel, chief authorized officer for the Golden Knights, stated the tax would harm the group’s backside line, noting 70 % of the Golden Knights’ income is from ticket gross sales.

Not solely would it not impression the Knights’ group, it might additionally harm Las Vegas locals, based on Seigel, as he stated they make up nearly all of the group’s ticket holders.

“This tax will ultimately hurt these local fans,” Seigel stated. “These are not tourists generally going to the games, these are locals.”

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred declined to remark Thursday on the proposed tax.

Contact Mick Akers at [email protected] or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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