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Reporter

Nancy Hicks reports on Lincoln city government, but she’s been following the leaders of local and state government for more than 40 years.

Pine Lake Road

Traffic moves along Pine Lake Road west of 70th Street on Jan. 15. Voters will be asked in the city's April primary election to consider adding a quarter-cent sales tax to help with street construction and maintenance.

The quarter-cent sales tax for streets has solid support among voters, based on a telephone poll conducted for the private group supporting the proposal.

Fifty-seven percent of the people responding to the poll said they would vote for the proposed quarter-cent sales tax increase and 41 percent said they would vote against it.

The poll of 400 adults, who indicated they were registered to vote, was conducted in mid-February and was funded by the National Association of Realtors on behalf of the coalition of Lincoln businesses supporting the sales tax increase. That group, Fix Lincoln Streets Now Coalition, is using social media and traditional advertising to encourage people to vote for the quarter-cent sales tax proposal that will be on the April 7 primary ballot.

The poll called cellphone, VoIP and landline numbers, with quotas assigned to reflect the demographic distribution of Lincoln’s registered voters.

The quarter-cent sales tax increase would be earmarked for street construction and repair and would bring in about $78 million over six years.

The separate, city-funded educational campaign is also running radio and television advertisements explaining the reasons why the city needs the additional money from the quarter-cent sales tax for streets.

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Apparently, the way you can tell this is an educational message, rather than a promotional message, is that the advertisement does not specifically tell people to vote for the ballot measure, though it certainly gives you many reasons to vote yes. 

Acting City Attorney Chris Connolly says he is comfortable the ads “are for an educational purpose, which is allowed by statute.”

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7250 or nhicks@journalstar.com

On Twitter @LJSNancyHicks.

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