2015 Changes to Nebraska Sales and Use Tax

The Nebraska Legislature has made several changes to the sales and use tax. Starting in 2016, zoo admissions and memberships will be exempt from sales tax. The Nebraska Legislature enacted LB 419, a sales and use tax exemption primarily to support Nebraska’s nationally accredited zoos and aquariums. There are four nationally accredited zoos in Nebraska—Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Lincoln’s Children’s Zoo, Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari, and Riverside Discovery Center. Zoo purchases and gross receipts from the sale of daily admission and memberships will no longer be subject to sales and use tax. Gross receipts derived from sales other than admissions or memberships, such as concessions, will still be subject to tax. The intent of the new law is to allow these zoos to reinvest the funds to further attract visitors and boost local tourism.

Also starting in 2016, purchases by sanitary drainage districts will be exempt from sales and use tax.

Lastly, the Legislature also passed a law which prepares Nebraska for the use of funds that would be generated if Congress expands the states’ authority to tax transactions with out-of-state retailers. If the federal government passes this type of legislation, LB 200 authorizes the funds to be credited to the Property Tax Credit Cash Fund—a fund for reducing property taxes. LB 200 was passed in anticipation of federal legislation such as the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would grant states the additional power for taxing transactions with out-of-state retailers. At this time, no federal legislation has made it through the House of Representatives. We will provide additional updates as this issue and pending federal legislation develops.

© 2015 Houghton Vandenack Williams
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