Nevada court takes up Las Vegas arena ballot measure |

Nevada court takes up Las Vegas arena ballot measure

The Associated Press

Nevada Supreme Court justices questioned Tuesday whether a ballot initiative backed by Caesars Entertainment to build a sports arena on the Las Vegas Strip and fund it with a special taxing district would run afoul of state law.

Justice James Hardesty raised the issue and referenced the court’s landmark ruling last year that said the Nevada Constitution prohibits local and special laws where a general law applicable to everyone should apply.

That ruling late in the 2011 legislative session sent the governor’s two-year spending plan into a tailspin and led to 11th-hour negotiations to plug a $650 million budget hole.

During Tuesday’s oral arguments on the arena measure, Scott Scherer, attorney for Taxpayers for the Protection of Nevada Jobs, argued initiative backers used false information to gather signatures for the arena proposal slated for the November ballot.

Caesars wants to build the arena on land owned by the casino company and finance it by a nearly 1 percent sales tax increase within a three-mile taxing district.

The opposition group, which includes other casino companies MGM Resorts and Boyd Gaming Corp., argues that signature gatherers misrepresented where the arena would be built and that people in northern Nevada were told the proposed arena would be built in Reno.