Winterized has learned that the .5 percent pay cut Mayor Chris Beutler recently said he and his staff will take won’t take effect until Sept. 1.
That is, assuming Beutler gets re-elected in May. If he weren’t re-elected, he and his staff wouldn’t take any pay cut unless the new mayor were to keep them on as directors and aides. Most mayors keep most of the old cabinet, but aides don’t often stay on, unless they’re from the same party as the outgoing mayor.
Anyway — a city hall source tells me the pay cut will not be effective immediately, but on Sept. 1, most likely to coincide with the beginning of the next fiscal year.
I’m hearing the state Legislature is quietly considering giving cities more revenue options in the form of sales taxes.
Although they’re not exactly advertising it, lawmakers are reportedly considering allowing Nebraska cities to increase their local option sales tax levies by another half-cent — giving them more money to help balance budgets that will be even more strained if the state ends or drastically cuts state aid, which is designed to give cities property tax relief.
Of course, voters in each city would have to approve any increase in the sales tax levy. In Lincoln, a half-cent increase in the sales tax would amount to about $18 million a year. But would Gov. Dave Heineman sign such a bill? It seems like a savvy way for him to cut aid to cities and then leave it in local politicians’ hands to decide whether to take the political risk of promoting a tax increase.