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State of Nevada approves high-speed rail financing to aid in the state’s long-term economic recovery

Posted at 10:33 AM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 13:55:15-04

Today, the State Board of Finance approved the issuance of up to $950 million in industrial development revenue bonds to assist in the construction of a 170-mile high-speed rail project connecting Las Vegas to Victorville, California.

The State of Nevada will allocate $200 million of its existing private activity bond volume cap, while an additional $750 million will be leveraged from the federal government. No taxpayer dollars will be used to finance this project, and the issuance of these bonds will not impact the State’s ability to finance future projects.

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Bond proceeds will be used to support the construction and maintenance of the rail system for approximately 35 miles adjacent to the Interstate 15 corridor on the Nevada-California border, along with necessary infrastructure improvements in Southern Nevada.

The project is being undertaken by DesertXpress Enterprises and construction is scheduled to begin later this year. The project will result in 10,000 construction jobs and 350 permanent jobs in Nevada. The total economic impact for the State will be roughly $2 billion with $325 million in new tax revenue.

Upon completion in 2023, it is estimated that the rail system will remove 3,000,000 passenger vehicles from roadways annually, reducing carbon emissions by 100,000 tons per year.

"This project is a long time coming to Nevada and I'm pleased to take this step forward to bring this vision to reality and bring additional jobs to our State," said Gov. Steve Sisolak. "This plan creates jobs without using taxpayer dollars and without impacting our State's ability to finance future projects, and will allow a new, convenient mode of transportation between Nevada and California.”

“This high-speed rail project is a major step in Nevada’s long-term economic recovery from the financial downturn caused by COVID-19. This project will put thousands of Nevadans to work, while strengthening our tourism economy and lowering our environmental footprint,” said Treasurer Zach Conine. “As we look to rebuild and diversify our economy, sustainable infrastructure projects like this will be the key to the State’s success for years to come.”