In the face of a potential sales tax increase, Mark White says the City of La Vista is heading in the wrong direction.
White, a Republican, is seeking election to represent Ward IV on the La Vista City Council.
“The big problem in La Vista is the 84th Street corridor,” White said.
White is a U.S. Air Force veteran who works as a civilian at Stratcom at Offutt Air Force Base. He said 84th Street, once a “golden mile,” is now blighted, and redevelopment of the area should not be done by increasing taxes through the proposed half-cent sales tax.
“What you’re doing is increasing the cost of business,” he said.
Should the tax pass, White said La Vista’s tax rate will match the highest rates across the state, and be the highest in the Omaha metropolitan area, making La Vista unattractive to new business development.
“One thing that they should do, which I think is a positive action, would be to stop trying to raise taxes,” he said.
Rather than increase taxes, White said he would focus on making the city an attractive place by both reaching out to businesses to find what would make the city more desirable and lower the tax rate.
“Can you imagine what 84th Street would look like if we had some nice businesses in there?” he said.
He cited the Southport area, which includes Cabela’s and PayPal, as such an example.
“They take care of landscaping,” he said. “They put up nice buildings.”
In addition to attracting new development, White said finding ways to lower the tax rate would benefit the city as a whole.
“We should lower tax rates to expand the tax base,” he said. “That’s how you grow revenue.”