Updated January 20, 2021 - 5:43 am
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacting visitation to Las Vegas, room tax revenue dedicated to paying the public’s contribution of Allegiant Stadium is running behind needed amounts.
Latest room tax figures released by the Las Vegas Stadium Authority show $1.17 million in revenue was generated in November by a 0.88 percent tax on hotel rooms in Clark County. The figure represented a 72 percent decrease over November 2019’s generated revenue of $4.22 million.
The stadium authority board is slated to meet Thursday with the revenue report among the planned agenda items. The board will also discuss shifting from the development stage of the $2 billion stadium project to the operational phase.
From the start of the current fiscal year on July 1 through November, $6.8 million in room tax has been collected, which is $14.24 million below the amount collected in the first five months of the previous fiscal year. Fiscal year 2021 is expected to generate almost $18 million in revenue, according to stadium authority’s budget.
Because of the shortfall in tax collections, Clark County had to use $11.55 million from a debt reserve fund to make a scheduled $16.06 million bond payment in December. Allegiant Stadium and the land it sits on are owned by the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, while the county handles the bond process.
Since it is 68 percent behind in room tax revenues through November, Clark County is expected to have to dip into the debt reserve fund again to make the next scheduled bond payment of $18.06 million in June, according to stadium authority board chairman Steve Hill.
“We do anticipate needing to draw on the reserves for the June 1st payment at some level,” Hill said during the board’s December meeting. “At that point hopefully we are beyond the virus crisis and are back to generating more revenue than is needed to pay the debt on those bonds and are able to at that point, permanently able, to replenish the debt reserve.”
It’s anticipated the county will need to withdraw around $8 million from the debt reserve fund to make June’s payment, based off fiscal year 2021 budget projections, according to Brian Haynes, stadium authority spokesman.
The bond payments are made twice annually, once in June and once in December, to pay for the majority of the public’s $750 million contribution to the project.
There remains $57.2 million in the debt reserve fund following December’s withdrawal. The fund was set up to be able to handle two full years of bond payments if zero in room tax was being generated.
Since the room tax began being collected in March 2017, it has generated $158.9 million through November. The total is $13.8 million, or 8 percent, below the originally budgeted amount of $172.7 million over that span.