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Sales tax hike

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Voter approved increase goes into effect next week

HARTINGTON — Local residents will soon see a change in their shopping receipts.

Voters approved a sales tax increase of one-half percent last November. The local sales tax will go from one percent to one-and-a-half percent on April 1.

After voters approved the increase, the City Council then had to pass an ordinance affirming the change. The new ordinance, along with the official Cedar County vote tallies were then sent to the Neb. Dept. of Revenue.

The city won’t see any financial benefit from the increase for four months, however. The state makes sales tax reimbursements on a quarterly basis.

City leaders originally put a sales tax in place here in 2007 to raise funds for infrastructure improvements and for economic development. State statute puts a 15-year sunset on the economic development portion of the sales tax, however, so voters had to reaffirm their commitment to the sales tax at last November’s General Election.

Local voters overwhelming showed their support for the proposal. Official tallies showed 500 people favored both raising the sales tax and allowing a portion of the funds to be used for economic development, while 359 people opposed the sales tax increase and 339 people were against using the funds for economic development.

Hartington Mayor Mark Becker said he was pleased with the support the proposals received.

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