Sarpy officials discuss Heineman tax bills

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Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 12:00 am

Sarpy County officials gathered at Tara Hills Golf Course in Papillion on Jan. 22 to discuss 2013 legislative bills and their effects on businesses.

Bellevue State Sen. Scott Price said legislative bills affect the community, education, school districts, private industries, the county and the city.

“As citizens we have multiple roles,” Price said. “We’re charged to work with citizens and look through their eyes.”

Sens. Jim Smith and Bill Kintner joined in the discussion at the Sarpy Chamber of Commerce’s first Legislative Coffee to discuss the potential effects of Gov. Dave Heineman’s proposed bills to eliminate dependency on state income tax to sales tax.

Legislative Bill 405 would eliminate $2.4 billion in sales tax exemptions and result in the elimination of both individual income tax and corporate income tax. A list of exemptions is being debated by politicians.

The proposal would also eliminate a $4,080,646 sales tax exemption, which Heineman approved last year, for computer data centers and companies that produce biochips.

That exemption helped Papillion land Fidelity Investments’ $200 million data center being built at 114th Street and Cornhusker Road. The company plans to open the facility next year.

A less ambitious proposal, Legislative Bill 406, would eliminate $395 million in sales tax exemptions.

The bill would also eliminate corporate income tax and exempt the first $12,000 of retirement income for married couples and $6,000 for single individuals.

Sales tax on groceries would remain exempt in both bills.

Papillion Mayor David Black said there aren’t any surprises with the bill, which is good because it gives residents an opportunity to ask questions when politicians are accessible.

“A lot of it is still concept,” Black said. “If there are bills that are impacting cities, we’re already involved in those conversations.”

La Vista Mayor Doug Kindig is leery that businesses will be drawn to Sarpy County if income tax is taken away.

“I think part of it will have a sudden influx of new businesses,” Kindig said. “They need to be able to replace that income source.”

The next Legislative Coffee event will be held Feb. 19 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the La Vista Public Library, 9110 Giles Road.

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