Updated November 25, 2020 - 3:28 pm
The money pulled from the reserve account was used toward the $16.06 million bond payment due Dec. 1 , according to Clark County, which issued the bonds and handled the debt reserve transfer and payment.
“Fiscal Year ‘21 room tax collections are insufficient to pay the debt service payment due on December 1 for the Stadium Authority bonds,” Erik Pappa, county spokesman, said in a statement. “The total payment due is $16,057,500 of which $11,553,389 was needed from the reserve fund.”
The Las Vegas Stadium Authority was transferred ownership of the stadium from the Raiders, who were in charge of the building’s construction.
After the withdrawal, $57.3 million remains in the reserve fund, which was set up by the stadium authority in the case funds were needed to help make monthly bond payments. Before the withdrawal the debt reserve fund was at 76 percent of the two-year debt reserve target.
A 0.88 percent room tax was imposed on hotel rooms in Clark County to fund the $750 million public contribution of the $2 billion stadium.
But the coronavirus pandemic has led to a significant decline in visitors to Las Vegas, resulting in lower tax collections.
Through September, the room tax has generated $3.99 million for Fiscal Year 2021, which began July 1. That’s down 68 percent compared to the same period last year, according to Brian Haynes, stadium authority spokesman.
Through September last year $12.35 million was already generated by the room tax.
Pappa said the withdrawal from the reserve account was expected because of the drop in visitation and there is no worry that the debt reserve will be exhausted amid the pandemic.
“Fortunately, the financing for the Stadium Authority bonds included the funding of a debt service reserve fund to weather economic declines like the one Las Vegas is currently experiencing due to the pandemic,” Pappa said.