Lincoln asks for property tax hike to fund stormwater repairs

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) In addition to several charter amendments and local races on the May 7 general election ballot, voters will also decide the fate a proposed property tax hike.

The Stormwater Management Bond Issue, approved for ballot access by city councilors February 25, will ask for $9.9 million to make drainage and flood management improvements in Lincoln.

Approval of the project would come with a property tax increase on home and landowners within city limits, amounting to about a $6 increase for the average homeowner, or $3.28 per $100,000 of assessed property value. The bond would run for 20 years.

Donna Garden, assistant director of Lincoln's Transportation and Utilities Department, said about two-thirds of project funding, or roughly $6.6 million, would go toward improving Dead Man's Run along Leighton Street between 33rd and 48th Streets.

Garden said the plan calls for shrinking the 100-year flood plan by 250 acres near UNL East Campus by widening Deadman's Run. Several other area improvements would be made, which Garden said would help nearby homeowners save money by allowing them to drop flood insurance coverage.

"They no longer have to get flood insurance after this project is complete," Garden said. "It addresses a number of structures along Deadman's Run and does just a great improvement for that part of the city."

In addition to taxpayer funds, Garden said the Deadman's Run project will get another $6.6 million from the Nebraska's Natural Resources Districts, along with $10 million from the federal government.

According to proposed project plans, remaining funding from the bond would be dedicated to several other drainage needs throughout town, including near Forest Lake Boulevard and Seacrest Park.

If approved by voters, improvement construction would being until 2021.