Nevada judge declines to block sports arena initiative

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February 4, 2011

Nevada

CARSON CITY, Nevada: On February 3, 2011, Nevada District Court Judge Todd Russell declined to block a measure,which would allow a 20,000-seat sports arena on the Las Vegas Strip, from being presented to the opening of state legislative session. The lawsuit, which was filed by the Taxpayers for the Protection of Nevada Jobs on December 15, 2010, sought to block the measure from legislative review until March when the judge rules whether or not fraudulent signatures appeared on the petition. The measure is an indirect initiated state statute, which means before it can go on the ballot, legislature must review the citizen-initiated proposal. A ruling on the case is not expected until March 4 or March 10.[1]

Opponents argue that the initiative effort will not have obtained enough signatures if the judge confirms and tosses out the alleged fraudulent signatures. According to reports, the lawsuit argues that the petition circulation process was tainted by fraudulent behavior by engaging in the use of false advertisements. For example, the lawsuit points to the use of pervasive lies about the details of the initiative (including the location of the proposed arena) and false statements about who circulated the petitions and obtained the signatures.[2]

If the measure makes the ballot and is enacted by voters in November 2012, it would impose a 0.9 cent sales tax in a taxing district near the proposed arena. The revenue collected from the tax would then be used to finance bonds to construct the arena. The proposal is being supported by Caesars Entertainment Corp.[3]

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