Grand Island brings in more than $3.4-million a year through six occupation taxes. There's $1.4-million from the food and beverage tax, which pays for the community fieldhouse, veterans athletic field complex, and the city's match money for the Nebraska State Fair. $600,000 from the telephones and cellphones that goes for 911;$500,000 in natural gas occupation taxes; $500,000 in cable occupation taxes; $350,000 in hotel motel lodging taxes, which goes to the annual debt payment on the Heartland Events Center, and $65,000 a year in liquor occupation taxes.
Many cities tack on an occupation tax to the things you buy, but that could change thanks to a new bill.
In Grand Island six different occupation taxes funnel $3-million into the city's general fund.
Taxes you pay every time you buy alcohol, stay in a hotel, or even visit your favorite restaurant.
"It's basically a tax on the consumption or the use of a particular product," said Jaye Monter G.I. Treasurer Finance Director
Omaha Senator Bob Krist has introduced a bill to get rid of the current occupation tax within one year.
"The purpose is to maintain some type of uniformity and also to put it back to a vote of the people," said Senator Bob Krist.
That's the only way the taxes could be brought back under the bill.
"And if that happens then the city will be in a position to go to a vote of the people because that money is very important for our general fund for the services that the city of Grand Island provides to all of its tax payers," said Monter.
Senator Krist says he doesn't think occupation taxes should be piled on when you're already paying a sales tax.
"Which the governor has said and I agree, is a tax on a tax," said Krist.
One of the big changes in the bill says occupation taxes could not be calculated on gross receipts, which is how occupation taxes are calculated in Grand Island.
The City of Grand Island says if the bill is passed, and voters don't bring them back, they'll likely make up the money through a raise in property taxes of upto fifty percent, or there could be a reduction in services.