Two of our pals in Lincoln — Joe Duggan and Paul Hammel — report that similar efforts, aimed at all Nebraska cities, failed twice earlier this legislative session. But a late 30-5 vote on Tuesday gives Chambers a victory on his third attempt to repeal his city’s taxing authority.
“This is a righteous and just vote that was taken today, and it removes a cloud from above the heads of poor and limited-income people,” Chambers said afterward.
The City of Omaha’s official position was to retain the taxing authority, which the Legislature passed last year over the governor’s veto. Omaha elected officials have not yet sought to increase the sales tax, which would require a vote of the people. The amendment was attached to a bill providing incentives for wind energy, which must now pass final reading and obtain Gov. Dave Heineman’s signature before it becomes law.
Duggan and Hammel also say the stance of Omaha Mayor-elect Jean Stothert, who opposes the half-cent law, also influenced Tuesday’s surprising vote.