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Grand Island Chamber Opposes Consumption Tax Plan

Grand Island Chamber of Commerce

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — The Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce has taken a stand against a proposal to impose a statewide consumption tax on new goods and services.
At its March 5 meeting, the Grand Island Chamber board voted unanimously to oppose the EPIC Option Consumption Tax, which would replace Nebraska’s income and property taxes with a high-rate consumption sales and excise tax. The EPIC tax rate would likely be at least 15% to 20%, and perhaps higher, according to experts.
Among the taxed items under the EPIC plan would be new homes and new automobiles, childcare, rent payments, out-of-pocket health care costs, accounting services, car repairs, home remodeling, dormitory rooms, loan processing costs, and burial plots.
If enacted, the EPIC plan would make Nebraska’s cities, counties, school districts, and other local governments reliant on the state for local funding needs. Also, because the proposal would amend Nebraska’s constitution, state lawmakers would be unable to make common-sense changes in the future.
“Our business community wants tax reform and relief," said Grand Island Chamber President Jamie Karl. "But research shows the EPIC tax’s exorbitant rate would punish businesses, young families and workers, as well as retirees on fixed incomes. Under EPIC, Nebraskans could be facing a $60,000 sales tax bill on a $300,000 home, or a $12,000 sales tax bill on a $60,000 automobile. That’s not tax relief — that’s a massive tax shift.”

Karl said a sound business climate requires predictability and stability, "the opposite of what the EPIC plan would bring Nebraska." 
EPIC supporters have until July 3 to collect signatures from 10% of registered voters in their attempt to place the issue on the November 2024 ballot.