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Sports Arena Facility Financing Assistance Act

This guidance document is advisory in nature but is binding on the Nebraska Department of Revenue (Department) until amended. A guidance document does not include internal procedural documents that only affect the internal operations of the Department and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties or include confidential information or rules and regulations made in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. If you believe that this guidance document imposes additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, you may request a review of the document.

This guidance document may change with updated information or added examples. The Department recommends you do not print this document. Instead, sign up for the subscription service at revenue.nebraska.gov to get updates on your topics of interest.

A Nebraska political subdivision may apply for state financial assistance with the Nebraska Department of Revenue (Department) to help acquire, construct, improve, equip, or finance an enclosed and temperature-controlled sports arena with a permanent seating capacity of 3,000 to 7,000. The state assistance, or turnback, could include up to 70% of state sales tax collected within the arena, on ticket sales for events in the arena, and on all or a part of state sales tax collected by retailers located within 600 yards of the eligible sports arena facility. See Neb. Rev. Stat. ยงยง 13-3101 to 13-3109.

The application must contain the following:

  1. Documentation showing that the political subdivision has: (a) acquired, constructed, improved, or equipped a sports arena; (b) approved a general obligation bond issue to acquire, construct, improve, or equip a sports arena; or (c) adopted a resolution authorizing the political subdivision to acquire, construct, improve, or equip a sports arena;
  2. Documentation that the sports arena is eligible for assistance, meaning that it is publicly owned, enclosed, primarily used for sports, and has a permanent seating capacity of 3,000 to 7,000 seats;
  3. A description of the proposed financing of the sports arena, including principal and interest requirements for any proposed bonds; and
  4. Documentation of the local public and private financial commitment to the project, including any operating agreement or lease with substantial users.

When the Department receives a complete application, the Department will schedule a hearing before a special board that reviews these applications. If the board approves the political subdivision for state assistance, the amount of sales tax turnback is 70% of:

  1. State sales tax revenues collected by retailers at the sports arena, for example, from concessions or merchandise sales;
  2. State sales tax revenue collected on primary or secondary box office sales of admissions to events at the sports arena;
  3. State sales taxes collected by retailers located within 600 yards of the sports arena that first began collecting sales taxes within the period of time beginning 24 months before and ending 24 months after the date of occupancy of the sports arena; and
  4. The amount of increased state sales taxes collected by retailers located within 600 yards of the sports arena that first began collecting state sales taxes before 24 months prior to occupancy of the sports arena.

The amount calculated is subject to appropriation by the Legislature. The appropriation for each year after the 10th year cannot exceed the highest amount appropriated for the first 10 years and the overall amount is limited to no more than $50 million per project. Sales tax turnback is limited to 20 years or the retirement of the bonds, whichever comes first.

Convention Center Facility Financing Assistance Act/Sports Arena Facility Financing
Assistance Act Sales and Use Tax Information Form

  • Every person collecting and reporting sales tax for taxable sales or services made on the premises of or delivered to the Ralston Arena must remit this form.

The Sports Arena Facilities Financing Assistance Act also provides for this same state assistance to Nebraska political subdivisions acquiring or building racetrack enclosures that are licensed by the State Racing Commission and first used after July 1, 2010. For information on state assistance for these facilities, contact the Department.

For additional information regarding the Sports Arena Facility Financing Assistance Act, please contact George Kilpatrick at 402-471-6024 or george.kilpatrick@nebraska.gov.


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