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Debate over Nebraska cellphone tax bill ends without vote

Posted: 3:08 PM, Apr 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-17 20:08:40Z
Attention parents: Your children need (and secretly want) a break from their cell phones

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — A bill that would require Nebraska cities to get voter approval before raising occupation taxes on cellphones could be in jeopardy.

Lawmakers passed over the measure Wednesday without voting on it after some senators argued that it would hurt local governments.

Sen. Tony Vargas, of Omaha, says he introduced the bill because Nebraska has some of the nation's highest cellphone taxes. The original bill would have cut cellphone taxes across the board, but Vargas agreed to narrow it so it only applied to occupation taxes.

Opponents say the measure would take money out of city coffers and potentially force those governments to raise property taxes. The bill could cost the city of Lincoln an estimated $4 million in lost revenue out of its $178 million general fund.