Today I would like to share with you one of the many bills being discussed in the Nebraska Legislature. LB81, as introduced by Senator Abbie Cornett from Bellevue, seeks to prohibit a municipality from imposing a wheel tax outside their city limit.
Many twists and turns took place on General File, the first of three rounds of debate. Initially there were three amendments submitted for LB81. I supported AM14, the Revenue Committee amendment and AM132, the first by Senator Cornett. Both addressed technical issues but were pulled by Senator Cornett with the passage of her amendment, AM198 that was introduced on the second day of debate on LB81.
AM198 and the conversations surrounding a compromise were given a lot of attention in the press; most of it inaccurate. AM198 ends the commuter wheel tax on January 1, 2012 and ends the wheel tax within the Extraterritorial Zoning Jurisdiction (ETJ), the 3 mile area surrounding a city, beginning January 1, 2013. This is where we run into some issues.
I fully support ending the commuter wheel tax, but I believe if we are going to eliminate the wheel tax by January 1, 2012 for some who do not have a voice and the ability to vote, then we must do it for all.
The creation of a commission that might lead to the recommendation of a “metro-area wheel tax” was also reported. Taxing authority for a new government body is a concept that I do not, and will not support. My decision to be a co-introducer of LB81 reflects my stance that Nebraskans deserve a lower tax burden.
Once AM198 was passed by the legislature, I voted to advance LB81 to guarantee the wheel tax will end for those who live in the ETJ by January 1, 2013. I then filed an amendment that permits those who live in an ETJ of a city of the metropolitan class to vote in that city’s elections. Debate on AM146 will take place when LB81 is debated on Select File.
Permanent tax relief was a strong component of my campaign to represent District 39 in the Legislature and I remain committed to this goal. I have, and I will continue look for new ways to bring tax relief to the citizens of Legislative District 39 and Nebraska.
If you would like more information on LB81, or if I can be of assistance on any other issue, do not hesitate to contact me at my office at the State Capitol. My office number is 402-471-2885 or you can email me personally at email@example.com.