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Las Vegas, North Las Vegas councils OK room tax hikes to fund convention center improvements

City councils in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas on Wednesday unanimously approved a .5 percentage point hotel room tax hike that will help pay for a $1.4 billion expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Meanwhile, the Henderson City Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a single ordinance that covers the half-percentage point increase to fund the convention center improvements, along with a separate .5 percentage point room tax hike to help pay for a new football stadium that could become home to the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and UNLV football team.

The approvals this week were largely considered ceremonial after the Nevada Legislature’s passage in October of public funding for both projects.

“We will be following state law and will be doing what has been asked of us by the governor,” North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee said prior to his City Council’s Wednesday vote.

The .5-percentage point hotel room tax hike will take effect Jan. 15. Little or no discussion by the three councils occurred on the matter prior to their respective votes.

The stadium-related tax increases will take effect March 1.

In the city of Las Vegas, the additional room tax increase that takes effect March 1 will be administered through a memorandum of understanding with Clark County, Las Vegas Business Licensing Manager Mary McElhone said this week.

One tax increase will finance $750 million in bonds for the stadium. The $1.9 billion arena’s financing plan also calls for $500 million from the Raiders and $650 million from the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

The other tax hike would pay for a new 600,000-square-foot exhibit hall at the Convention Center. Construction is expected to start in 2018.

In November, Clark County commissioners voted 6-1 for both hotel room taxes. Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani cast the lone dissenting vote against the plan.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Review-Journal staff writer Sandy Lopez contributed to this story. Contact Jamie Munks at jmunks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0354. Follow @JamieMunksRJ on Twitter. Contact Art Marroquin at amarroquin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Follow @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.

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