Projections for the Capital City indicate a 6.8 million dollar shortfall even if many of Madam Seng's pet projects are flushed.
Word is that the culprit is a lack of increase in sales tax revenue. The Lincoln Journal Star is reporting that sales tax revenue supports over 40 percent of the annual budget and that income has stagnated.
Apparently the city anticipates a 3 to 4 percent growth in in sales tax revenue on a yearly basis, and that just ain't happening this year.
Well DUH, is it any wonder why?
There is not much, if anything being written in the press about why the sales tax revenue has flatlined, but anyone that listens to local radio knows the score.
More than one public official has indicated that the smoking ban implmented by the People of the "No Nose Tribe" is more than partially to blame. One guest on a local talk show agreed that it could be as much as 4 million dollars. And that is probably just sales tax revenue that has not been generated, that might not even include the 14 cents on every dollar the city is losing from Keno that is not being played.
Aside: Keno is legal in the state of Nebraska and the city of Lincoln. Keno is gambling. Keno, alcohol and cigarette smoke go together like the three legs of a stool; cut off one of the legs and you fall on your ass.
THE CITY OF LINCOLN HAS FALLEN AND CAN'T GET UP
It is not only the loss of 14 cents for every Keno dollar played that the city is losing; It is the sales tax on the food and beverages that the players consume. There has also been some tracking as to how other non-Keno local restaurants and bars have been fairing.
Observations from this tracking revealed that food and beverage sales are down all over the city as compared to years past. Some businesses have cut their staff even further reducing the amount of taxes generated by the city and state.
Whether you are for or against the smoking ban it is hard not to aknowledge the economic impact that it is having on the city. When you cut the slaughter one of the cities cash cows, you are obligated to find another cow.
Between the lost revenue from Keno and the lost sales tax revenue from the sales tax on food and beverages the city of Lincoln has fallen into a financial money pit.
So how does our glorious leaders plan to compensate for this debacle? Why tax increases of course! The plan being formed now is to replace the single huge cash cow with a whole herd of little teeny weeny itsy bitsy little cows; i.e. the individual tax payers of Lincoln.
There is already talk by City-County Planning Director Marvin Krout of raising property taxes, wheel taxes and imposing an occupational tax on gasoline.
1400 KLIN radio is also reporting that City Budget Officer Steve Hubka says rate increases for water and sewer are also possible.
To that I say NO THANK YOU.
I think that everyone that voted to "cut their nose off to spite their face" ought to step up and identify themselves. Then the number of people that voted for the ban can be divided into the amount of the deficit and made to write a check for their portion of their ignorance.
You Do-gooders wanted smoke free bars and restaurants; well now you got them. It came at the expense of the cities infrastructure and no now you want me to pay for your shortsightedness?
YOU WANTED THIS, YOU GOT THIS.
IT WAS YOUR DUMB ASS HOLIER THAN THOUGH MENTALITY THAT GOT US IN THIS MESS YOU PAY YOUR OWN WAY OUT OF IT.
I am not saying the there would not be a deficit if the ban had not gone into effect, but I believe that the shortfall would be negligable or even virtually non-existant if it had not.
GET YOUR OWN CHECK BOOKS OUT AND COUGH UP FOR YOUR OWN IGNORANCE.
ITS YOUR STOOL, YOU BROKE IT, FIX THE DAMN THING YOURSELF.