No. While residents certainly shop and eat in La Vista, according to market studies, on average, 90% of the business transactions in La Vista involved visitors from outside the City’s limits.
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The revenue generated by the restaurant tax helps fund the City's basic operations and maintenance associated with police, fire, community development, parks, recreation, library, streets, swimming pool, public transportation and general government.
An increase in this revenue will be used to ensure that quality services are maintained as the City continues to grow and expand services to ensure that new and existing areas are safe and well-maintained.
Developments such as La Vista City Centre, Central Park, Nebraska MultiSport Complex and Southport are expected to generate hundreds of activities and events, bringing in more than 500,000 visitors to La Vista each year. This will increase the demand for public services for everything from traffic control and snow removal to calls for service and other public safety needs. Because of the types of development underway and anticipated, the number of visitors will also increase and grow food and beverage sales.
The City’s goal has always been to add top-notch amenities to the community without increasing the property tax burden. In addition to growth, the City must also keep pace with the rising prices for fuel, vehicles, equipment, construction materials, electronics, and more impacting operational and maintenance costs. The restaurant tax is a way to share these financial challenges equally with non-residents and residents alike.
Additional restaurant tax revenue will ultimately make the City less reliant on property taxes to provide services and amenities for its residents.
If voters do not approve the 2.5% restaurant tax, the 1.5% tax would remain intact. However, the City would be forgoing approximately $1.5 million per year in additional revenue.