La Vista voters reject restaurant tax hike

By a 2-to-1 margin, La Vista voters rejected a 1% tax increase for local bars and restaurants in the general election ballot.

The proposal would have increased the City’s restaurant and drinking place occupancy tax from 1.5% to 2.5% of gross receipts from the sale of food and beverages. The measure was rejected 3,383 to 1,644, according to unofficial results.

“It wasn’t unexpected, except maybe the margin of the vote,” Mayor Douglas Kindig said. “You know, it’s a difficult time. We knew that when we offered it.

Kindig said the city has done everything possible to inform the public about the measure, with information being disseminated by mail and online. A group of citizens, including members of the Kindig and La Vista city council, used private funds to advocate for the increase.

The planned $700,000 in additional funds raised was allocated to city operations, including new staff to meet growing demands for services. Kindig said directors would review the impact on La Vista’s budget to determine plans.

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Voters approved a second ballot measure, which maintains the city’s half-cent sales tax to fund street improvements. The tax has been in place since 1990, but was due to expire in 2025. The sales tax is extended for 30 years.

“I think that was exactly what the citizens wanted. They sent a very clear message. said Kindig. “That’s who we serve.”

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