Support for LB745 Regulating Occupation Tax – January 25, 2012

 

The Lincoln Independent Business Association supports LB745. Requiring a vote of the people to enact an occupation tax is nothing short of good policy. It promotes transparency in government and allows the good taxpayers of Nebraska to determine which projects they would like to fund.

The commencement of the West Haymarket arena project is a perfect example of how good policy works. The people of Lincoln voted for the arena occupation taxes, which sunsets (or has a determinable termination date) on January 1, 2046.[1] Lincolnites have embraced the arena project as an opportunity for economic development, college internships and community involvement.

However, the Nebraska Legislature has also seen Lincoln’s administration take matters into its own hands with the telecommunications occupation tax, which was increased and expanded without a vote of the people on October 1, 2010.[2]

Fortunately, last year this legislature passed and Governor Heineman signed into law LB165, which stops the practice of taxing telecommunications equipment, as well as the ability of municipalities to increase an occupation tax on telecommunications services without a vote of the people. [3]

LB745 ensures that occupation taxes will not become an extension of sales and use taxes with no accountability. Nebraskans will know what they’re paying for, how much they’re paying and how long they’ll pay for it. LIBA respectfully requests that this committee pass LB745 on to general file.

 



[1]Lincoln Mun. Code (Neb.) § 3.30.110 (2010).

[2]Lincoln Mun. Code (Neb.) § 3.24.080 (2011).

[3] See Neb. Rev. Stat. § 86-704.