New occupation taxes will require voter approval

Occupation tax revenue projected to exceed established thresholds will be subject to a public vote under a bill passed by the Legislature April 5.

LB745, introduced by Valentine Sen. Deb Fischer, requires that any proposed occupation tax be subject to a vote of the people, have a specific purpose and indicate a sunset date. Any change in the rate of a current occupation tax also will be subject to a vote. The bill does not eliminate occupation taxes currently in place.

Municipalities will be able to adjust the rate of an occupation tax imposed for a specific project which is not deposited in the municipality’s general fund or to terminate an existing occupation tax without submitting it to a public vote.

A proposed occupation tax will be subject to a public vote if the projected revenue exceeds:
• $6 million for cities of the metropolitan class;
• $3 million for cities of the primary class;
• $700,000 for cities of the first class; and
• $300,000 for cities of the second class and villages.

Senators passed the bill on a 46-0 vote.

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