Pushing For State Help in Paying Beatrice Six Judgment

Pushing For State Help in Paying Beatrice Six Judgment
Don Schuller

BEATRICE – An unsuccessful candidate for a Nebraska Legislative seat says the state should help pay the Beatrice Six judgment, even if some senators maintain there’s not enough in the state budget for that.

Don Schuller, of rural Wymore, speaking to the Gage County Board Wednesday, described it as “a cop out” and a way to avoid legislation that would aid in paying the judgment.

:31                  “this judgment”

This year, Gage County increased the property tax rate to begin paying off the civil judgment of over $28 million, for the next several years.

Schuller today recommended that Gage County hire a lobbyist to work toward getting state help.

County Board Chairman Myron Dorn, who defeated Schuller in the 30th District Legislative race, is working toward introducing legislation that would allow counties to enact a sales tax to pay for federal judgments.  Under the proposal, the tax would sunset once the judgment is paid off.

Schuller says although a sales tax would relieve property tax pressure, he maintains the state still has a responsibility to help.  He says a sales tax still takes more money away from people within Gage County.

:26                  “as it is”

Schuller says he’s working to encourage public support to convince lawmakers to support state assistance.

:15                  “than he does”

Schuller commented during a public forum section of the county board’s agenda…and supervisors could not respond today, to Schuller’s comments, without putting it on a future agenda.

But, later in the board meeting in scheduled discussion on the sales tax proposal, Supervisor Matt Bauman expressed skepticism of a state role to help Gage County.

:21                  “looking at”

Dorn hopes to get formal support for a bill using the sales tax to pay federal judgments, from the county board at a January 2nd meeting.

The proposed legislation would apply to all counties, should they find themselves in a similar boat.  County Supervisor Erich Tiemann agrees that tapping sales tax would ease some of the property tax burden.

:11                  “is paid”

Dorn said there is support from the Nebraska Association of County Officials, to lobby for the sales tax idea.

Gage County is appealing the Beatrice Six case to the U.S. Supreme Court but has not yet heard whether the high court will hear the case.

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