Tax proposals come under scrutiny at first budget forum

Omaha, NE – Mayor Jim Suttle's property, wheel and restaurant tax proposals came under scrutiny during Omaha's first community budget forum.

About 250 people attended the first of four forums on the 2011 budget. The budget has a $34 million deficit, more than $21 million of which is in the general fund. After presentations of city departments' budgets, Suttle took questions from the crowd about the wheel tax, police contract, and the city's budget difficulties.

Suttle says the four-percent restaurant tax has a provision that allows it to end if Omaha voters approve a sales tax increase. Getting a sales tax increase on the ballot requires approval from the Nebraska legislature.

The next budget forum is Monday at Central High School. There's also a forum next Wednesday at Westside High School and one August second at South High School. All forums begin at 6:30 PM.