BENNINGTON (KPTM) – The decision whether to hike up sales taxes in Douglas and Sarpy Counties is ultimately being left up to voters.
In Bellevue and Waterloo the current sales tax is 1.5 percent. If the measure passes it will increase 0.5 percent, bringing the percentage to two percent.
The city of Bennington will also increase 0.5 percent, but from one percent to 1.5 percent.
People said they support the tax increase if it will contribute to city improvements.
It's a habit when we spend money—estimate the price including the tax.
For years people in Bennington have paid one percent in sales tax. Come Election Day, if people vote "yes" on increasing the local sales tax, they'll start paying 1.5 percent.''
Lorrie Becker said the increase would have to be a lot more than that for her to say, ‘wait a minute'.
"Probably 50 cents," Becker said. "A half
percent increase would probably not affect the way I purchase products."
Bennington's mayor, Mary Johnson said majority of the money would go toward city projects and infrastructure, like road improvements.
"It's unsafe, it's rough on your vehicles, the kids don't move around very well—whether they're riding bikes or their skateboards," Johnson said.
Voters like Dillon Steffas support that choice.
streets in this town need to be fixed," Steffas said
Also if the measure passes, property taxes will go down.
how much can a city benefit from a half percent increase?
Johnson used Cubby's Gas Station to provide some perspective. She said Cubby's racks about $50,000 a month.
"And just a small percent of that is sales tax. That's over $4 million a year."
Before Tuesday, many voters like Becker didn't know a tax increase was going to be on the ballot. She said she is glad she knows now.
"Because now when that question comes up, I'll know how to answer it."
If passed in either Bennington, Waterloo or Bellevue, the sales tax increase will stay in place for ten years before it can be changed.
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