Auburn Voters Reject Half-Cent City Sales Tax Increase
A majority of Auburn voters rejected a half-cent city sales tax increase in a Tuesday, Nov. 15, special mail-in election.
The first proposition called for a half-cent city sales tax increase. There were 470 voters who favored the increase, about 46 percent and 557 who were against the increase, about 54 percent.
The additional sales tax would have raised Auburn’s tax to 7 percent, 5.5 percent state and 1.5 percent locally. The increase would have placed Auburn in line with most other area municipalities which have the same local sales tax rate.
The second proposition called for a 10-year sunset on the additional tax. While that proposal was supported, 608-382, 61 percent in favor, the defeat of the first proposition made the second proposition meaningless.
Nemaha County Clerk’s officials said that 53 percent of Auburn’s 2,340 registered voters participated in the mail-in election. There were 1,035 ballots containing votes returned and 387 ballots that were undeliverable.
City officials said that the additional sales tax revenue collected would have been used for lawful municipal purposes consisting of 25-50 percent to provide property tax relief for Auburn residents. The remaining proceeds would have be used to provide funding for capital improvements. The latter would have included trails, signage, streets and other items within the city’s master plan approved earlier this year and a revitalization plan completed in 2005. The additional sales tax was expected to have generated about $200,000 annually.