LAS VEGAS, NV – The soon-to-be-transplanted Las Vegas Raiders NFL team has gotten people talking, and their imminent arrival in Southern Nevada – in 2020, if all goes well with the construction of their new state-of-the-art stadium situated at Interstate 15 and Russell Road – has already resulted in economic growth and the interest of new businesses opening up shop in the region. However, a proposed tax reform currently in the works by the Republican members of the House of Representatives may throw some roadblocks into the equation, as certain provisions investors were relying upon to fund the Raiders project may now be in jeopardy.
Currently, the cost of the $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat Las Vegas Raiders football stadium is being financed, in part, via the use of tax-exempt bonds; this is a common practice used by investors when it comes to the construction of stadiums for sports teams. However, a provision of the proposed House tax reform bill – one currently being championed by United States President Donald J. Trump, who has vowed to sign it into law before Thanksgiving of this year, placing the Raiders project within its legal boundaries – will outlaw the use of Tax-exempt bonds in this manner, which would mean that $750 million in public monies will be excluded from the stadium’s financing package if 429-page legislative bill passes in its current form.
What does this mean for the future of the Raiders stadium, which recently held a groundbreaking ceremony on November 13?
At the moment, the ultimate effect is not known, although experts have noted that the current design of the stadium would fall into the parameters of a project covered by the Republican tax reform bill; the passage of the bill would very likely give developers major cause to revise the financial details of the construction, although to what degree is currently up in the air. Most reports, however, say that the passage of the tax bill will potentially increase make the project more expensive by increasing interest rates, decreasing the yield, or both. However, all aspects of the proposed House legislation must be made public and examined before the true extent of its effect upon the finances of the Raiders stadium project will be laid bare. But this is provided that the bill passes and doesn’t suffer the same fate as the GOP’s recent health care reform efforts, which were held off by House Democrats and several defecting Republicans members; likewise, the tax reform has generated a similar degree of discontent between the two major political parties, so currently its fate is uncertain.
If the bill passes and the Raiders project is no longer able to utilize tax-exempt bonds in its financing, it is likely that the project will continue as planned, albeit with higher costs; additional investment streams may be required as well to deal with rising development costs. It is vital for the stadium’s development to continue unabated, as its initial announcement has had a spillover effect on industrial properties that had previously stood vacant and unused, even amid Las Vegas’ current housing boom, proving that not only will the arrival of the Raiders have a positive effect on the NFL team’s own bottom line, but the bottom line of the region as well.
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