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Support, Opposition for County Wheel Tax

County Commissioners heard Tuesday from a special task force promoting a County-wide Wheel tax.

County Engineer Pam Dingman said bridge and road construction is facing at least a $9 Million dollar a year deficit for the next 20 years. Lots of opposition testimony followed.

Former Commissioner Larry Hudkins said the lack of retail businesses outside of Lincoln is forcing rural residents to pay up already. “Virtually everything we buy, we’re paying city sales tax on,” Hudkins explained.

The idea was not popular with rural residents. Craig Johnson, who lives near Denton, told Commissioners he thinks Eastern Lancaster County gets more than its fair share of spending right now. “I think there needs to be some thought put into place about how insure that the monies that are being paid by the west side of the county are being attributed within the county itself.”

County Engineer Pam Dingman provided the encouragement, saying the county is $200 Million dollars behind in bridge construction. She added that nearly 30 miles of gravel roads have traffic counts that justify paving.

With the County-wide Wheel tax, Dingman asked for farmers to get a break. “What we’re asking is that farm vehicles be taxed at a rate that it approximately 50% of what a commercial vehicle would be taxed.”

In September, people living in the county will have a chance to weigh in during community meetings. A final decision will be based on votes from Hickman and Waverly city councils and Lancaster County Commissioners.

READ MORE: City Council Approves Of Mayor’s Plan To Balance Budget

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