Water Task Force on Path to increase Taxes

November 26, 2013

Created by LB517, the 34-member Nebraska Water Funding Task Force is studying ideas to fund water projects in Nebraska.

Initial meetings were in July in Lincoln. Meetings have been held in Franklin, Holdrege, Gothenburg, Omaha, Grand Island, Alliance, Sidney, Kearney, and Norfolk. The final meetings will be held in Lincoln, December 5-6 at the Kearney Ramada Inn and December 12-13 in Lincoln.

Ideas considered by the task force to fund water have included:

  • Additional sales tax
  • Portion of existing tax
  • Cigarette tax
  • Water user tax
  • State-wide occupation tax
  • Wellhead tax
  • Irrigated acre tax
  • Bonding and loans
  • Tax on every acre of State
  • Excise tax
  • Energy tax
  • Fuel tax
  • Toll on I-80
  • Soda pop tax
  • Fertilizer tax – dedicated to water quality
  • Private industry sustainability initiatives
  • Commodities tax
  • Trash tax

At the November meeting in Norfolk, the task force said annual funding needed to be $50,000,000. Ideas favored by the committee included:

  • Tax on bottled water and soda pop
  • Severance tax (sand and gravel, and oil and gas)
  • Fertilizer tax
  • Ethanol excise tax
  • Designating a portion of the state sales tax
  • Using money in the state cash reserve as a revolving loan fund

State Senators on the Task Force include:

Be sure to follow this very important issue.

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