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Group Files to Have Las Vegas Arena Petition Signatures Tossed

Proponents argue that the project will be another jewel on the glittering Las Vegas Strip; a jewel with which to lure a long-desired professional sports team to the city.

Detractors argue that the plans are designed to benefit one specific business in Las Vegas, and that citizens who signed petitions in support of the proposal are victims of "rampant fraud."

Bloomberg reports that the conflict is headed to court after a group headed by MGM Resorts filed a lawsuit to have a court toss petitions backing a proposed Strip sports arena to be built in part with tax money on land owned by rival Caesars Entertainment.

The proposal would create a Strip taxing district in which slightly less than one percent would be added to existing sales taxes. The revenues collected would be used to build a $448 million sports facility proponents hope would attract a pro team.

More than 157,000 signatures were collected across Nevada to send to the legislature next year. If the legislature doesn't pass the measure or doesn't act on it, it'll be put to a public vote on the 2012 election ballot.

Bloomberg reports that a group calling itself Taxpayers for the Protection of Nevada Jobs opposes the plan for the proposed facility. The group includes MGM Resorts and Boyd Gaming Corp., competitors of Caesars (formerly known as Harrah's).

The group claims citizens were routinely deceived by petition-gatherers. Citizens in areas away from Las Vegas were allegedly promised that the stadium would be built in their areas, bringing jobs and business growth opportunities.

The lawsuit asks the court to throw out the signatures. If the request is granted, it might effectively put arena supporters back at square one of the approval process.

Resource: Bloomberg: "Group files suit to block Las Vegas arena proposal": December 16, 2010

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