LINCOLN, Neb. — Lincoln’s tax rate will likely go up next year after the mayor won his lawsuit to force the city council to fund his budget.
County District Judge Robert Otte ruled in favor of Mayor Chris Beutler on Wednesday, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (http://bit.ly/2dgXP6D ). The judge ordered the city council to set a tax rate of over 30 cents per $100 of estimated worth for the mayor’s budget.
“The court finds the mayor’s proposed budget was deemed to have been adopted by the council, and the council has a ministerial duty to set a tax levy which balances the mayor’s budget.”
The council’s Republican majority argued that the council’s original budget should be the legal budget and that the mayor did not have the authority to veto it.
However, Judge Otte pointed out that the council members opposed to the budget could have overturned the mayor’s veto with a five votes but failed to do so.
The council’s Republican majority only had four of the the five votes needed to override the mayor’s veto under the City Charter.
“Though four members of the council voted for a biennial budget prior to the deadline, that budget was invalidated by the mayor’s veto,” Otte wrote.
Councilman Roy Christensen said he and the other Republican council members will decide whether to appeal the ruling or to approve the higher tax rate after speaking to their attorney.
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com