More on the Cell Phone Tax

cell-phoneDiscussion on cell phone tax is on the agenda for the City Council Work Session, Tuesday, May 26th at 7:00 pm in City Council Chambers.

According to documentation we received, Columbus, Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Lexington and Norfolk have a cell phone tax. The tax in Hastings and Lexington is 5% all the other cities have a 3% sales tax. Scottsbluff and Fremont do not have a cell phone tax. You will find information on their cell phone tax by clicking on the pdf file  cell-phone-tax-info.

The data shows significant incremental revenue from cell phones. Such revenue would allow us to hold the line on property tax. I’m convinced a cell phone tax is more equitable.

Six people communicated with me regarding the cell phone tax. Four of them spoke against the tax. Essentially they said we are already taxed too much or I cannot afford to pay more taxes. One suggested we cut spending, but did not make any suggestions with respect to cutting spending. One suggested selling the golf course. Two people said they could favor the tax. One person said only if the tax was implemented at the 3% level.

I pasted the relevant part of Ordinance No 3716 at the end of this post.

I was asked about the “City Service Tax.”  This tax is a city sales tax and is based on the total monthly service charges plus the regulatory and admin fee. The resulting amount is then multiplied by the current city sales tax rate of 1.5% to arrive at the City Service Tax total. This according to the City Treasurer.

Other items on the agenda include: Discussion on spay/neuter program; Discussion of the results of the Traffic Study at 5th and Dewey and school crossing near Adams Middle School; Discussion of Budget Priorities; Discussion on City of North Platte Web site; Discussion on Mayor/Council Retreat.

Please feel free to call me or contact me by email at

Telephone companies, telecommunication companies and mobile telecommunication services, conducting business within the corporate limits of the City of North Platte per year: Five percent (5%) of the gross receipts resulting from the sales, or furnishing for revenue, of communication services (including cell phone customers) within the corporate limits of the City. There shall be excepted from the provisions of this section all receipts from telephone service to the United States Government or any of its departments, and all receipts from the state or any of its departments, and no part or portion of the tax provided for in this chapter shall be levied upon or assessed against or taken from the United States Government, the government of the state, or any of either of their departments.

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