Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert urges Nebraska lawmakers to reconsider Internet sales tax bill

By Paul Hammel and Joe Duggan / World-Herald staff writers

LINCOLN — Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert is making a last-minute pitch to revive a bill allowing collection of Nebraska sales taxes on Internet purchases.

The move, in a letter Tuesday, risks ruffling feathers in the office of Gov. Pete Ricketts, a fellow Republican who had opposed the idea.

But Stothert, in a letter to state senators, urged them to resurrect the bill, which failed to overcome a filibuster Thursday by two votes. With only 15 days left in the Nebraska Legislature’s 2018 session, the issue appeared dead until next year.

“Putting off the collection of online sales taxes would result in millions of dollars of lost revenue,” the mayor wrote. She estimated that Omaha could collect an additional $3 million in sales taxes this year, and Nebraska an extra $30 million to $60 million if Legislative Bill 44 were passed this year.

The measure was one of the few revenue-raising proposals considered by the State Legislature in a year of budget cutting. Stothert said the bill would also help Omaha repair its aging infrastructure. She also argued that taxpayers already owe taxes on Internet purchases, thus LB 44 does not impose a “new tax.” Full Article

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