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Ballots were mailed out to all registered voters within Orchard village limits March 1 in the special election for a proposed 1½ percent sales tax.
Ballots can be returned in person to the Antelope County Clerk’s office or mailed back, but they must be received by March 12.
The ballot will have two separate questions, the first being about the 1½ percent sales tax, and the second regarding designating 50 percent of those funds to economic development within LB 840.
If passed, Orchard would impose a 1½ percent sales tax with allocation and use of 50 percent of the tax revenue for any project or program providing direct or indirect financial assistance to qualifying businesses. Businesses seeking low-interest loans from the sales tax collected would go through a loan review process similar to that of a bank, along with other loan requirements.
Orchard is just one of a handful of area communities not already collecting a sales tax for economic development. Neighboring communities of Clearwater and Neligh approved LB 840 plans several years ago and have already begun offering low-interest loans that have led to new businesses and job creation.
Unlike property taxes, sales tax is collected from anyone who spends money inside village limits, regardless of whether they are a resident of Orchard.