Bellevue residents soundly rejected plans to increase their city’s sales tax by a half-cent and create an economic development plan.
Had the measures passed, Bellevue stood to collect an extra $3 million per year from the higher local sales tax. The increase would have put Bellevue’s local sales tax at 2 percent, on top of the state’s 5.5 percent, and it would have been the highest in the metropolitan area.
Elsewhere in the metro area, voters in Bennington and Waterloo voted in favor of plans to increase their local sales taxes by a half-cent. Bennington officials said the revenue would be used to reduce Bennington’s debt and property taxes.
In Bellevue, officials said the additional sales tax revenue would be designated for public infrastructure such as new roads, storm sewers and sidewalks. The proposal was targeted to help spur commercial and retail growth along Fort Crook Road and in Olde Towne.
A portion of the revenue would have funded development of a sanitary sewer system for the area adjacent to and near U.S. Highway 34, east of U.S. Highway 75.
Last spring, Gov. Dave Heineman came out against Legislative Bill 357, which granted cities the authority to increase their local sales tax with voters’ approval. But the Legislature had enough votes to override the governor’s veto.