‘Beatrice Six’ sales tax bill advances to final vote

April 10, 2019

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A bill that would let a rural Nebraska county raise its sales tax to pay off a $28.1 million legal debt is headed to a final vote in the Legislature.

Lawmakers gave it second-round approval Wednesday after defeating an amendment that would have given voters a chance to reject the increase.

The current bill allows a two-thirds majority of the Gage County Board of Supervisors to approve a half-cent sales tax increase, which could only be used to pay six people wrongfully convicted in a 1985 Beatrice murder.

The Beatrice Six spent years in prison for the death of 68-year-old Helen Wilson until DNA evidence exonerated them in 2008.

The bill is designed to help farmers who are a minority in the county but pay most of the property taxes.