Nebraska Supreme Court hears Omaha's occupation tax case
The Nebraska Supreme Court is hearing a case involving the city of Omaha's occupation tax on restaurants. City officials in Norfolk, Neb. are watching the case closely.
Two restaurant owners in Omaha are challenging that city's two-and-a-half percent tax on restaurants saying they think it's illegal. Voters in the City of Norfolk approved a similar tax last November on prepared food and beverages as a way to pay for the multi-million dollar renovations to Veterans Memorial and Ta Ha Zouka Parks.
So what happens if the Supreme Court overturns Omaha's occupation tax, would Norfolk's be in trouble? The City Attorney said not necessarily. He said Omaha and Norfolk are separated into different class cities that are actually affected differently in Nebraska Statutes.
The City Attorney pointed out the statute that applies to Norfolk's occupation tax and it's been on the books in Nebraska for over 100 years, which he said should keep it safe, regardless of the outcome of the Omaha case.
There are a lot of other pieces in the supreme court case that need to be worked out. One of them being what exactly counts as discretionary spending that's legal to be taxed in Nebraska. There are a lot of details related to the case and one or two may have an affect in Norfolk. That's why city officials will certainly be paying attention over the next couple of weeks.