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Progressive Groups Decry Plan to Lure Raiders to Las Vegas

Opposition is building to a plan to raise hotel taxes to put $750 million toward a football stadium. (cohdra/morguefile)
Opposition is building to a plan to raise hotel taxes to put $750 million toward a football stadium. (cohdra/morguefile)
September 26, 2016

LAS VEGAS – Progressive groups are speaking out against Gov. Brian Sandoval's new proposal to raise taxes on hotel rooms in an effort to secure $750 million for a new football stadium he hopes would lure the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas.

The governor is expected to call a special session of the State Legislature to vote on the plan in the next few weeks.

Bob Fulkerson, state director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, calls the project – which is backed by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson – a waste of public money that would be better spent on more pressing needs.

"We need to invest in our kids' education before we need to invest in a right-wing billionaire who's worth $30 billion,” Fulkerson said. "Which is more important: educating our kids, or giving our scarce tax money to Sheldon Adelson?"

A 2015 report from the conservative nonprofit Taxpayer's Protection Alliance found that taxpayers have spent nearly $7 billion on stadiums for the National Football League without commensurate benefits to the public.

Fulkerson warned his group will put up a fight when the special session convenes.

"We're going to try and make it as noisy and as difficult as possible,” he said. "Everybody says when it goes into it, it'll be a slam dunk – but you know, not so fast. I think the people need to have the last word on this, not Sheldon Adelson."

Supporters of the plan say a professional football team would boost civic pride.

Fulkerson counters that Nevada would be better off with an education system that leads the nation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Nevada is sixth from the bottom in terms of education funding.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV