Governor Heineman Again Criticizes Use of Local Taxes for UNMC Project

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Gov. Dave Heineman doesn't think it would be fair for Omaha to tax smokers to help pay for a new University of Nebraska cancer research center because the $370 million project is already getting state tax dollars.

Heineman said Monday that he still supports giving the project $50 million in state money, but he told the Omaha World-Herald he doesn't want local tax dollars to be used.

Douglas County has already pledged to contribute $5 million for the project, and the Omaha City Council is considering a 35-cent-per-pack cigarette tax to raise $35 million for the project.

Last week, university officials apologized to Heineman for not clearly stating they planned to seek additional public support for the project.

A hearing on the cigarette tax will be held Tuesday.

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