Judge Rejects Vegas Arena Challenge

A Nevada judge has allowed to proceed an initiative petition from Harrah’s Entertainment that includes a new sales tax to finance a $500 million sports arena on the Las Vegas Strip.

Carson City District Court Judge Todd Russell rejected Sept. 21 MGM Resorts International’s challenge to the proposal, which includes a 0.09 cent sales tax in the surrounding area where the new 20,000-capacity arena would be built. Proceeds from the tax would reportedly fund a bond to finance the arena project.

Russell said the wording and intention of Harrah’s petition is clear enough for people to understand before signing it. A taxpayers group headed by MGM claimed the petition was misleading and invalid.

Harrah’s has until Nov. 9 to collect about 97,000 signatures statewide for the 2011 Legislature to consider the Harrah’s proposal. The Legislature would then have to make a decision to place it on the ballot within 40 days, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

MGM Resorts International spokesman Alan Feldman said the company hasn’t decided on whether to appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.