Farm Bureau - Melissa Wheeler

The North Bend Eagle


City losing more sales tax revenue to anonymous refund

by Nathan Arneal
Published 7/14/21

The North Bend City Council was recently told it will be losing another big chunk of its sales tax money to an unknown company that filed for a rebate.

As initially reported by the Eagle on Jan. 13, the council was told it would lose $38,877 in sales tax revenue this November after a company qualified for a sales tax refund as part of the Nebraska Advantage and Employment and Investment Growth acts. This allows companies to apply for a sales tax refund to help offset investments they are making to expand their business or add employees.

In a letter from the Nebraska Department of Revenue dated June 30, the city was informed that sales tax refund claims for $50,000 have been approved, with another claim of $73,850 pending. The $73,850 would account for 23% of the city’s yearly sales tax intake, which is about $320,000.

“This is a killer to our sales tax,” city clerk Theresa Busse said.

The city was unable to find out which company is requesting and receiving the refunds. Mayor Rod Scott talked to Lynn Rex, Executive Director at the League of Nebraska Municipalities, and asked where the money is going, and she didn’t know. Other inquires made to state officials came up empty as well.

“What bothers me with the whole process,” councilman Ken Streff said, “is that this has to be kept anonymous. They won’t tell you the company. There’s nothing wrong with telling us who is asking for a refund of our tax money. No one else in the government could ever get a fund that the taxpayers wouldn’t know about somehow.”

In other council business:

• The council heard a report from Julie Ogden of city engineer JEO Consulting on the Highway 79/Main Street replacement scheduled for next year. The council approved an amendment to the original agreement between the city and JEO to move the water mains under Main Street into the highway right-of-way between the street and the sidewalk on the west side of Main Street between 11th and 13th streets. Ogden said the highway project is still on schedule to being next spring or early summer.

• The council reviewed a letter from Costello Property Management saying it will be ending their services as manager for the North Bend Estates apartments as of Dec. 31. Councilman Bart Bosco said he heard of people calling Costello interested in renting an apartment who didn’t receive a call back. Bosco said he would tell the North Bend Housing Authority board, who oversees the Estates, to make sure Costello gets those people called back and fulfills their duties through the end of the agreement. The board will also be seeking someone to manage the apartments.

• Letters regarding unlicensed dogs were sent to seven people. If not resolved by July 12, citations were to be issued by the Sheriff’s Office.


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