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LIBA Calls on City of Lincoln to Eliminate Wheel Tax Increase

The Lincoln Independent Business Association calls on the city of Lincoln to repeal the wheel tax increase set to take effect September 1st.

Wheel taxes were first implemented in Lincoln in 1958 at a rate of $1 per wheel or $4 for most vehicles.   Since then Lincoln’s wheel tax has been incrementally increased 14 times.  The most recent wheel tax increase, passed in 2009, called for three additional incremental increases.  The last of these is set to take effect September 1st.

Some may argue that wheel taxes must increase as inflation drives up the cost of materials and therefore the cost of roads.  However the increase in wheel taxes has far outstripped the pace of inflation.  The original $4 wheel tax, adjusted for inflation, today would equal $32.33;[i] far below the soon to be $74 charged for most residential vehicles.

When wheel taxes were increased from $31 to $39 in 1995 city officials claimed the money would be used to widen Old Cheney Road from 70th to 84th streets, 56th Street from Old Cheney Road to Pine Lake Road and Pine Lake Road from 56th street to Nebraska Highway 2.[ii] In the ensuing 18 years the city has increased wheel taxes six more times and the promised projects have yet to be completed.  These projects have been discussed, started, halted and redesigned.

Redesigning and reengineering road projects is a waste of our road dollars. The project to widen 56th Street was delayed and the environmental impact study expired necessitating a new environmental impact study and compliance with new regulations cialis in polen kaufen. The most movement on this project occurred on April 15th 2013 when the city allocated an additional $10,060 to design a noise wall.[iii] Construction is scheduled to begin sometime in the winter of 2015; twenty years after the project was identified as a priority.

Lincoln’s roads and infrastructure are vital to the community and it is time for the city to stop demanding more wheel tax dollars and start using the people’s money for the purpose intended.

[i] CPI Inflation Calculator; Bureau of Labor Statistics; http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm

[ii] “Antelope Valley on Path to Cost Millions More than Planned;” Deena Winter; Lincoln Journal Star; 25 Oct. 2008; http://journalstar.com/news/local/antelope-valley-on-path-to-cost-millions-more-than-planned/article_463c84e4-f818-591a-acf3-fc7ac3257d0c.html

[iii] Formal Minutes of the City Council; 15 April 2013; http://lincoln.ne.gov/city/council/agenda/2013/041513/m041513.pdf