County funds for motor vehicle sales tax collection amended, advanced

A bill that would reinstate a commission counties receive in return for their collection of state motor vehicle tax was advanced from select file April 25 after senators amended it to direct more of the funds to county roads and bridges.

Sen. Sue Crawford
Sen. Sue Crawford

Bellevue Sen. Sue Crawford, sponsor of LB237, has said county treasurers currently may withhold 2.5 percent of the first $3,000 in state motor vehicle sales and use tax that they remit, which amounts to $75 per month.

Under LB237, as amended on general file, counties also could withhold 0.5 percent of all amounts in excess of $6,000 remitted each month. Seventy-five percent would be deposited in the county general fund and 25 percent would be deposited in the county road fund.

Crawford introduced an amendment on select file that instead would direct 50 percent to the county general fund and 50 percent to the county road fund prior to Jan. 1, 2023, when the distribution would revert to the original percentages.

Crawford said the change meets opponents’ request that more of the funds be used to repair county roads and bridges damaged by this spring’s floods. At the same time, she said, it recognizes that the bill is intended to address an unfunded state mandate on county treasurers’ offices to collect the tax.

The amendment also would change the bill’s operative date from Oct. 15, 2019, to Jan. 1, 2020.

Following adoption of the Crawford amendment on a 34-0 vote, senators advanced LB237 to final reading by voice vote.

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