Supporters of a gas tax increase might need more than 27 votes.
The Unicameral advanced LB 610, a six-cent increase in the state gas tax, on a 27-14 vote. It appears supporters will need 30 to overcome a likely veto from Gov. Pete Ricketts.
Only a couple of hours after the legislature advanced the gas tax increase for a final vote, Ricketts issued a strongly worded statement against the gas tax hike.
“Nebraskans express to me every day that their family budgets are in need of tax relief this year. The Legislature was wrong to advance this big government solution that throws tax dollars at an issue before exhausting other options first. Once again, the Legislature has chosen to prioritize tax hikes over tax relief measures that Nebraskan need and deserve. If this tax increase comes to my desk, I intend to veto it.”
LB 610 would increase the state gas tax by six cents over a four-year period.
If approved and fully incorporated, the state gas tax would generate approximately $76 million annually to pay for road and bridge repair.
Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion said during legislative floor debate his bill will help fix badly deteriorating roads and bridges.
“This is a small, modest, reasonable increase in a user fee to meet the needs for our infrastructure in this state,” Smith stated.
Smith will need 30 votes to override a veto.