ALLIANCE – The Alliance City Council has taken the first step in asking residents to approve a half-cent sales tax increase for street improvements under the LB 357 program. It would be in addition to the city’s initial 1-cent tax and its half-cent LB 840 economic development tax.
The council, at a special session yesterday morning, approved having the city attorney draft the formal LB 357 resolution to put a 10-year tax on the May primary ballot. Council action on the resolution itself is expect next Tuesday.
Alliance City Manager Jeff Sprock told Rural Radio News there was a lot of debate on how narrowly to define the types of projects that could be funded by the new sales tax.
Sprock said some council members wanted all the tax to go to streets while others thought it should also be available for other infrastructure improvements such as sewer or water projects.
In the end, the decision was made to put all the money toward street improvements, which Sprock said have drawn the most complaints from residents. Business and civic leaders have also pushed for improving the condition of streets.
The tax, which would sunset after 10 years but could be reauthorized at that time, is expected to bring in about $600,000 a year. Sprock said if it brings in more than that, the excess could go to other types of infrastructure project.