“City Sales Tax”

A bit of history about Nebraska State Sales Tax.

January 1984, Nebraska dropped sales tax on food. State sales tax at that time was four percent. Falls City had no city sales tax. 

From January 1984 to 1990, the Nebraska state sales tax was 4 percent. In 1990, the State rose by 1 percent for a total of 5 percent and the City remained at 0 percent. In 1997 the State remained at 5 percent; however, for the first time, the City raised by 1 percent to a total of 6 percent sale tax. In 2002, the State went up a half of a percent to 5.5 percent, while the City remained steady at 1 percent for a total of 6 ½ percent. In 2004, the State remained at 5 ½  percent and the City raised by ½ percent to 1 ½ percent total for a 7 percent sales tax.

Summary: State 5 ½ percent and City 1 ½ = 7 percent of our current city sales tax.

Hello citizens of Falls City: so now here we are; eighteen (18) years after the last sales tax rate increase, the City of F.C. is asking for your assistance. As you know, we have had numerous power outages over the past couple of years. Not all happened during a storm, many on bright sunny days. What does this mean? In part, it means our current electrical system is old and nearing the end of its life. A design plan has already been developed for the F.C. Electrical Distribution System Improvements and upgrades. You may also be aware that the state Legislature just passed a bill that will appropriate $15 million to Falls City to “Expand and strengthen” Falls City’s electrical grid. This bill will provide grants from the site and Building Development Fund. 

Having said that, I will add that the age and status of our other infrastructure (water, gas, sewer) is also in some need of upgrading and improving.

That is why this issue will be on our May election ballot. The City is asking voters to give consideration to raising our city sales tax by ½ percent. That would make the sales tax rate in Falls City a total of 7 ½ percent. (Currently, it is 7 percent; 5 ½ percent State plus 1 ½ city.)

This extra ½ percent will be used for public infrastructure projects. “which shall include upgrades for water, sewer, gas and the electric systems.” 

One advantage of raising funds in this way is that even people passing through our community will be helping us improve our city utilities. Anyone coming here to shop, eat, buy a vehicle, stay in a motel/hotel, full up with gas-ANYONE spending money on anything will be helping us! It’s a WIN-WIN!

And, I don’t know about you, but I’ve become pretty spoiled. I like having my power come on when I flip the switch. I want heat when I turn on the furnace. I don’t ever want a time when I’m not supposed to flush the toilet or take a shower. The convenience of fresh water on tap is a must. 

There was a very informative meeting at City Hall in Council Chambers on April 12. If you miss it and would like some information about our infrastructure, upgrade plan, the grant process and funding-please, call Ray Luhring, Falls City Utility Superintendent, at 402-245-2724. 

I believe this ballot proposal to raise our city sales tax by only ½ percent is a good thing for Falls City. And, I hope you will, too! 

Please join me in voting “yes” for the future of Falls City. My phone number is 402-245-5376. Please leave a message if no answer. Thank you for your time

Judy Murphy 

Editors Note: 

For more information about Utilities Revenue Refunding Bonds and rewording of the resolution to increase the sales tax, the February 16, 2022 story titled “City Council hears Library report and talks bonding options” in the Journal carried that information. 

For more information about Engine number eight issues and how they would be repaired, the January 26, 2022 story titled “Council discusses Auditorium upgrades” in the Journal carried that information. 

For more information about the half-cent tax increase going on the ballot and why, the January 12, 2022 story titled “Half cent increase to go on the primary ballot and Froeschl gives update on transmission line proposal” in the Journal carried that information. 

For more information about generator issues, the December 29, 2021 issue of the Journal, titled “Luhring explains generator issues to City Council during last week’s meeting,” carried that information. 

We have extra copies of these issues available for purchase in the office.

The Journal inquired about getting a recording of the April 12, Open House, that we were unable to attend due to illness. We were told this was not possible, which is understandable.

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