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Heavyweight ballot battle official as NV Legislature approves measure

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May 25, 2011


CARSON CITY, Nevada: In what should be reminiscent of a pound-for-pound boxing match in a Las Vegas hotel and casino, a tax district ban measure has been approved for ballot placement as a competing question to the sports arena initiative. The measure was introduced by the Senate Revenue Committee, and according to State Senator Sheila Leslie, chairwoman of the committee, the proposal that received the most votes in the 2012 general election would win.

However, if neither measure receives 50 percent of the vote, both would be considered rejected by voters.[1]

Currently, both are on the ballot, however that could change, given recent litigation filed against the citizen-initiated arena proposal.

The special tax district ban measure will appear on the November 6, 2012 ballot as a legislatively-referred state statute after being approved by Nevada Legislature. On May 23, 2011, the state senate voted in favor of the measure, with a tally of 39 to 3. Then on May 24, 2011, the Nevada Assembly voted in favor of the measure as well. This final legislative approval sends the measure to the ballot, since it does not need to be approved in the next legislative session. Only legislatively-referred constitutional amendments need to be voted on in two successive sessions to be sent to the ballot, according to the Nevada Constitution[2][3]

Also known as Senate Bill 495 (dead link), it was introduced on March 28, 2011. It would prohibit a special tax district in the state. Also, the bill would prohibit the creation of an area in which the sales tax was higher than other parts of the county. This ban essentially prohibits what the sports arena initiative proposes to do: impose a 0.9 cent sales tax in a taxing district near the proposed 20,000 seat arena. The revenue would finance bonds to construct the arena.[4]

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