Bellevue State Senator Abby Cornett will be introducing legislation that would curtail Omaha’s attempt to extend its authority in levying a wheel tax. Starting January one, those who work inside the Omaha city limits but don’t live there will have to pay $50 dollars a year in what’s being called an “occupation fee”.
“Has a bill drafted which continues to allow a municipality to impose a wheel tax inside the boundaries of the municipality and its normal zoning jurisdiction.”
Cornett says if she has her way this law will be short lived. Her bill would make such fees illegal. She adds commuters will have to pay that fee for a while and unfortunately, that money will not be refundable.
“State law would supersede the city law so it would go away but I can’t make the city return any money collected until the law passes.”
Cornett is frustrated by Omaha’s leadership saying city officials did not put enough effort in streamlining the city budget.
“You saw no budget cutting from the city of Omaha in this last go around. They didn’t increase but they didn’t go through and make those hard decisions.”
She says Omaha’s mayor (Jim Suttle) is setting the wrong example of being cost-conscious and questions some of his tactics.
“He hired his directors at more than twice what the some of the directors were being paid. He has a vehicle and there are city vehicles he could be driving.”
Cornett feels she has overwhelming support for her legislation.