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Clark County Commission approves plan to seek bonds for high-speed rail to California

Posted at 1:15 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 22:15:35-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Plans for a high-speed rail between Las Vegas and Victorville, California, is moving right along.

The Clark County Commission voted 7-0 Tuesday to approve Nevada Department of Business and Industry’s findings related to the financing of the project proposed by Desert XPress Enterprises.

Those findings will be considered by the state when it decides whether to issue $200 million in tax-exempt bonds.

“We have been working to achieve high-speed rail between Clark County and Southern California for decades and today’s approval marks a significant milestone in that long process,” said Commissioner Michael Naft, whose district includes the land for the future rail line and the Las Vegas train station. “This project does not use one penny of taxpayer money, has a track record of success, and will put 30,000 men and women to work in a time when we need jobs and economic investment. When finished, we expect this new train will remove 3 million vehicles from our roads every year, which will lower our CO2 emissions by 100,000 tons annually. I am grateful to the team at Clark County who helped make this happen and appreciate Gov. Steve Sisolak, Treasurer Zach Conine, and the State of Nevada for their work to make today’s approval possible.”

Guidelines from the IRS allows Virgin to market up to 4 times the amount of the $200 million in bonds.

A California finance committee approved the allocation of $600 million in tax-exempt bonds in April.

And, the U.S. Department of Transportation approved $1 billion in tax-free private bonds in March.

PREVIOUS STORY: Virgin Trains USA buys land in California

A train station in Las Vegas was approved in February.

The projected cost of the project is $4.8 billion.

Earlier this month, Virgin entered into a lease agreement to use the existing right of way for Interstate 15 for the project.

RELATED: High-speed train company receives permission to use I-15 right-of-way in California