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Clark County set to OK $200M in bonds for LVCVA

Clark County commissioners on Tuesday are expected to approve $200 million in bonds for the expansion and renovation of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The $1.4 billion project broke ground last month and is scheduled to be completed in 2023.

The county plans to issue another $200 million in bonds for the project next year. Both bond series will be backed and pledged by Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority revenue.

“The reason we’re splitting that is because there’s quite a good bit of bond issuances the county has to do over the next two years,” County Manager Yolanda King said. “I want to basically stress test to see if it will affect our bond rating as a result of issuing all those bonds.”

The county’s credit rating from Standard and Poor’s is AA+.

The bonds represent major undertakings by the county, including a $750 million investment into an NFL stadium and $150 million for parks, the first park bonds since 1999. Combined with the LVCVA loans, King said the bonds issued over the next two to three years will accumulate to about $1.5 billion in debt.

Although the LVCVA could issue its own bonds, King said the county’s bonds have lower interest rates because they are backed by property taxes.

The county hotel room tax rate was increased 0.5 percentage points on March 1, 2017, dedicated to retiring the bonds.

The bonds and tax increase were authorized during a special session of the Nevada Legislature in fall 2016. The same bill created a hotel room tax increase for an NFL stadium being built near the Strip.

Combined, the hotel tax increases mean an additional $1.35 for every $100 on a room rate.

Contact Michael Scott Davidson at sdavidson@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Follow @davidsonlvrj on Twitter.

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