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Sales taxes featured on Town Hall meeting

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HARTINGTON — Area residents will get a chance Monda at a Town Hall meeting to learn more about a proposed halcent increase in the city sales tax.

The meeting is being hosted by the city and the Hartington Economic Development Corporation to explain why the city is putting a 1/2 cent increase to the city sales tax on the Nov. 3 ballot.

The meeting is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m., at the Hartington City Auditorium. The session is designed to give local residents a chance to learn more about the current sale tax and the proposed 1/2 cent increase.

The half-cent increase will allow the city to replace worn out equipment, repair and replace aging infrastructure and keep up with the increasing expenses of running a city, without increasing the city’s tax levy, said Mayor Mark Becker.

Also, in a city like Hartington, a regional trade center, it allows Hartington to accrue extra tax dollars from out of th area, from people who come here to do their shopping or when visiting local busineses during visits to Hartington for games, tournaments, school and meetings or to just enjoy cup of coffee and the new shops sprouting up in the downtown, Becker said.

The economic development aspect of the sales tax will allow more money to be funneled into the business loans currently available in Hartington that are used to help local businesses get started, expand or make improvements. It would also be used to help develop a new industrial park area. The current industrial park has now reached full capacity.

The current local one percent sales tax was originally implemented in Hartington in October 2007, which brings Hartington’s sales tax up to 6.5 percent. Voters agreed at that time that 60 percent of the accrued sales tax monies go to the city to be used on various projects, five percent to the city for bond reduction and 35 percent of the sales tax revenue to economic development.

That means that a $100 purchase currently costs $106.50. Only $1 of that additional $6.50 stays in Hartington. The balance of $5.50 is sent to the state of Nebraska.

The city is asking Hartington residents to agree to pay another half of a cent, which would also stay in the city. The 5.5 percent still goes to the state, but that would leave the 1.5 percent to work in the community to help alleviate the cost of high tickets items in the budget, act as matchin funds for grants and loans for major infrastructure updates or to be used as incentive to local businesses for retention or expansion of local businesses.

So now, that $100 purchase will cost $107 instead of $106.50, an increase of 50¢ on every $100 spent here.

From October 2007-June 2020, the sales tax has netted $2,784,743.09 for Hartington.

Legislative Bill 840, or LB840 as it is more commonly referred to, allows cities to utilize a percentage of city tax dollars to help businesses relocate to or expand in those towns. This was first implemented here through the 2007 election in Hartington.

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