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Grand Island City Council Calls For Special Election

Grand Island, Neb. — The general election isn’t until November, but there will be a special mail-in election taking place in Grand Island on August 13.

The Grand Island City Council voted unanimously 8-0 Tuesday night to call a special election to authorize the City of Grand Island to establish a Good Life District Economic Development Program.

The city received notice on June 5 that the Nebraska Department of Economic Development approved its application to establish a Good Life District in Grand Island. By establishing the district, Nebraska’s state sales tax rate will be reduced from 5.5% to 2.75% within the Good Life District boundaries.

With the council’s approval Tuesday, voters will now be asked if they are for or against the city establishing a Good Life District Economic Development Program to appropriate local sources of revenue to such a program.

If voters vote against the measure, Grand Island City Administrator Laura McAloon said it’s not exactly money that would go back to the state.

“It’s just gone,” McAloon said. “It’s not like there are other economic development programs where the state does what’s called a throw-back tax. In this case, the tax would simply be gone as of October 1 for the next 30 years.”

If approved by voters in August, the City of Grand Island would be able to re-capture approximately $7.5 million is sales tax that currently goes to the state and keep it locally in Grand Island for the Good Life District and continued community growth. All mail-in ballots will be due by Tuesday, August 13.