News That Matters To Antelope County - Your News. Your Way. Every Day!
© Pitzer Digital, LLC
During the village’s monthly meeting, a big stride was made for the Orchard Economic Development Association (OEDA) as their proposal to proceed with putting a sales tax on an upcoming ballot was approved by the board.
Being a main item on the March agenda, individuals speaking on behalf of the OEDA brought their proposal to the board explaining the different options and benefits a sales tax could bring to Orchard.
Explaining the different alternatives, business owner and member of the OEDA, Stephanie Cleveland presented neighboring town’s sales tax percentages, as well as how that percentage could be split amongst the village and the OEDA. She explained that percentages are really seen all over the board with Creighton, Neligh, Niobrara, Osmond, and Stuart at 1 percent, and O’Neill, Meadow Grove, Ord, Plainview, Tilden, Verdigre, and Clearwater up to a 1.5 percent sales tax.
OEDA members attending the meeting recommended the board approve a 1.5 percent sales tax for the ballot, considering percentages from the area towns. Along with the sales tax percentage proposal, the OEDA representatives explained how the sales tax could benefit both the village and the economic development by splitting the funds collected from the sales tax.
Member of economic development, Tammy Cheatum said, “We’ve been talking as an economic development board, and what we originally thought was put 25 percent toward us and 75 percent toward the town. But we just thought a 50/50 split would be more likely to go, because people really do want to see both.”
Many benefits of the sales tax were brought forward from taking steps to clean up the town to the possibility of providing low-interest financing.
Stressing an important point, Cleveland explained, “You are getting sales tax from anybody that comes in. I can tell you right now that we get a lot of out of town people coming in to eat lunch down there. And I’m not saying that is a huge amount of sales tax, and there’s sales tax through other things. But, when I go to O’Neill, when I go to Plainview, when I go to Norfolk, they’re getting my money. So, why not when they come through here, why shouldn’t they be dropping an extra penny to help us out? I don’t think there is anything wrong with us doing that.”
A motion was taken from John Ferguson, with a second from Dwight Van Ostrand for the approval of the OEDA’s proposal to proceed with putting a 1.5 percent sales tax on a special election ballot. A decision to split the funds received from the sales tax between the village and the OEDA was put off for a later meeting.
Taking the next steps, the OEDA plans to meet with village attorney Joe McNally to write up a proposal for the village board, and begin to coordinate meetings for the public.