Nevada Supreme Court hearings about arena initiative may go into overtime

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July 27, 2011


CARSON CITY, Nevada: A ballot measure lawsuit that has made its way up to the Nevada Supreme Court could stay there for a long time, reports say.

The much-debated Nevada sports arena initiative came under fire of a challenge relating to signature collection. On December 15, 2010, the Taxpayers for the Protection of Nevada Jobs filed a lawsuit in the First Judicial District Court alleging that there had been fraud and misconduct in the gathering of petition signatures.

Judge Todd Russell then ruled on May 9, 2011 that the initiative did indeed gather enough signatures to advance to the ballot. The plaintiffs then filed an appeal with the Nevada Supreme Court, which is currently under review.

During an opening brief on July 18, 2011 in the state high court, Taxpayers for the Protection of Nevada argued: “During the signature-gathering process, petition circulators used fraudulent means to obtain signatures, including providing false and misleading information about the location and the initiative benefits and detriments to induce people to sign the petition." No specifics about the future of the case have been given, only that it is ongoing and more arguments will be heard later this year.[1]

The initiative has another opponent to battle with, but this one in the form of a ballot measure. Senate Bill 495 was introduced on March 28, 2011 as a response to the certified sports arena ballot measure. The proposal 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.

The measure was introduced by the Senate Revenue Committee, and according to State Senator Sheila Leslie, chairwoman of the committee, if approved by the Legislature, the bill would be placed on the 2012 ballot as a competing measure to the sports arena initiative. Leslie also stated that 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.

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