Omaha Public Radio News
11:42 am
Wed August 11, 2010

Omaha Chamber opposes Mayor's 2011 budget plan

Omaha, NE – Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle's 2011 budget plan doesn't have the support of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber issued a statement Tuesday after its Executive Committee voted to oppose the budget plan. Chamber CEO David Brown says the 2011 budget, if passed, would make Omaha less attractive to business. "When the city budget begins the process of looking at significant tax increases at a time when the economy is not good, we start taking a look at what our members have had to do and what we as an organization have had to do. And frankly, we feel it's just more appropriate to be reducing costs rather than growing the budget at this time," Brown says.

Brown says the city should start with a flat budget for 2011 and then look for ways to reduce costs. He's concerned that the budget in its current form will slow growth and make Omaha less competitive.

Omaha's 2011 budget has a deficit of $34 million. Mayor Suttle wants a nine percent property tax increase, a $23 increase in the wheel tax, and a four percent restaurant tax to fill the budget gap.