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 has won final approval from lawmakers.
Lawmakers passed the measure Wednesday on a 43-6 vote despite objections that it would let Gage County supervisors impose the tax without getting voter approval.
The bill lets a two-thirds majority of the county board approve a half-cent sales tax increase, which could only be used to pay the 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.