State Capitol

The Nebraska State Capitol in 2011.

LB472 would allow a county board to enact additional sales tax for their county simply with a vote by the supervisors or commissioners of your county.

This is a poorly disguised tax shift intended to help entities such as Gage County for failing to maintain insurance covering liability for wrongful convictions or other federal claims as a result of egregious conduct by County elected officials or employees.

In the aftermath of the infamous Beatrice 6 debacle, it would be utter foolishness for any Nebraska county now to not have adequate insurance for such court judgments. This proposed law is akin to shutting the barn door after the horse is already out.

Property tax is currently the method of payment for the Gage County judgment. The hue and cry for some is farmers pay the brunt of the property tax.

Unless you live in a car or under a bridge everyone pays property tax, and those who do not own property pay their share through their rent. Large purchases for farm equipment and parts are exempt from sales tax.

The the proposed new law, at the minimum, should be restricted to a vote of all the citizens of a county. No county board should have the right to force a new tax or tax shift on all of us without voter approval.

Contact your state senators and encourage them to oppose this new tax and tax shift. It could come back to bite any county in Nebraska.

Gary A. Barnard, Beatrice

Former Gage County Commissioner

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