Poll Shows Strong Support For EPIC Tax


    A new poll shows strong support for the EPIC Option Consumption Tax, which would replace all existing property, sales and income taxes with a broader sales tax applying only to original sales.

      The poll, conducted earlier this month for the Neilan Strategy Group, had 54% of responders supporting the tax with 30% “definitely” supporting it. The poll of 2,198 likely general election voters has a 2.1% margin of error.

     Consultant Perre Neilan says the numbers supporting the EPIC tax are “not a strong position” at this point because “ballot issues tend to only lose support when the opposition starts spending money.”

       State Senator Steve Erdman, one of the leaders of a petition drive to put the EPIC tax on the November ballot as a constitutional amendment, disagrees.

     Erdman says Nebraskans who’ve come to EPIC meetings were strongly in favor of it because they understand that “unless we make a dramatic change” in state taxes, they will continue to see efforts that just “decrease the increase.”

      As for Gov Jim Pillen’s plan to cut property taxes by $2-billion dollars or 40% by, among other things, raising the state sales tax rate and eliminating exemptions, Erdman calls it “a pipe dream” and says he’s seen very little support for it in his district.

     Because the EPIC tax would be a constitutional amendment, supporters need to gather more than 124,000 valid signatures from registered voters including at least 5% of the voters in 38 counties.

      Supporters are holding a no-host lunch meeting tomorrow at noon in Hay Springs at the Outlaw Saloon.  Omaha businessman and former Sidney wheat farmer Mark Bonkiewicz will be the speaker.

      The EPIC tax is opposed by many Nebraska business groups, which have labeled the idea “dangerous” and “too good to be true.”