A debate over taxing Omaha's sewers
January 29, 2010

The city of Omaha is planning to separate its storm sewers from its sanitary sewers in a massive and very expensive effort to comply with Federal regulations. The project is so expensive (it's currently estimated at $1.5 billion) that a debate has now picked up about whether to exempt the project from sales taxes, which are projected at $327 million. On one side of the debate are those who say that local government would benefit from the additional tax revenues; on the other are those who say that the Federally-mandated project is already sufficiently expensive and shouldn't be made additionally costly because of local taxation.

Omaha's challenges with sewer separation are not unique, even in our area. About a dozen other communities in Iowa and Nebraska face different levels of the same expense and complication in getting their sewers separated as well. They will need everything from pump stations to flap gates, from bar screens to disinfection systems. We welcome any questions or inquiries that might accompany any of those projects.

January 2010
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last revised January 2010