Omaha City Council rejects entertainment tax

Omaha, NE – Omaha won't have an entertainment tax next fiscal year.

City Councilman voted 6-to-1 Tuesday to oppose the two-percent tax. Mayor Jim Suttle proposed the entertainment tax last month as a way to fix a projected $11 million shortfall in the 2010 budget. Numerous amendments were filed. Those would have lowered the tax to one percent or raised it to as much as five percent, exempted nonprofits, and set an expiration of four years.

Councilman Ben Gray was the lone supporter of the entertainment tax. Gray expressed concern that without another revenue source, the city could be forced to lay off more employees. Gray said he would rather see Omaha raise property taxes than pass an entertainment tax.

The current fiscal year budget has a $12 million shortfall. Mayor Suttle hoped the entertainment tax could be implemented this year to start generating revenue.