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Stothert's budget includes no tax hike, modest increases to police & fire

Posted at 8:09 PM, Jul 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-26 21:09:21-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — It's budget season for local governments and Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert released her plans for the 2023 budget on Tuesday.

Stothert calls it a conservative budget. It increases the money given to the Omaha Police Department by nearly 5% and an almost 4% increase to the Omaha Fire Department, as the city continues to grow.

“People want to be safe and I think they can see in this budget that the departments are well funded and getting the things that we need,” said Stothert.

Despite those increases and more money going to the streets, the property tax rate is set to stay the same, at 0.46922 per $100,000 valuation.

“We are trying to manage the budget as carefully as we can,” said Stothert.

One reason is increased housing valuations and inflation as the city is expecting $30 million more in revenue in 2023 from sales, property and restaurant taxes.

In fact, due to that Stothert said she wanted to lower taxes

“We sure thought about it a lot,” said Stothert.

But a few factors including inflation and a change-up in how the county distributes OPPD dollars didn’t allow her to. This came after the Nebraska State Auditor told the Douglas County Treasurer that they were giving too much money to Omaha.

She said that contributed to her administration not seeking a tax decrease.

“We had to manage that $5 million loss from OPPD. The pandemic is still here,” said Stothert.

Stothert is also proposing increasing the library budget by around 10 percent to make way for a new downtown branch and administrative building in central Omaha.

After a public hearing in August, it’s on the city council to decide on passing the budget.

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