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The Columbus City Council authorized two voter referendums on Nov. 6 for approval of the Columbus Economic Development Plan (Proposition B) and a reallocation of existing sales tax dollars to fund the plan for eight years (Proposition A).

Successful passage renews the original City Economic Development Plan adopted in 2006 and expired in 2017. City Officials and economic development leaders support passage to promote Columbus to current and new companies.

The Columbus Economic Development Plan sets aside up to $425,000 annually from the current City Sales tax. Funds will be used to promote the economic vitality of the Columbus area, often for loans for new and growing companies. Most funds are provided as low interest loans paid back to the City’s economic development fund over a five year period. Eligible activities include those that broaden the tax base, create new job opportunities, diversify our economic base, attraction of new businesses, foster capital investment, grow existing companies, strengthen technology skills of the workforce, improve housing options and actively promote Columbus as a place where business can locate and be profitable.

All requests for funds are considered by the Citizen’s Advisory Review Committee and final decision is made by the Columbus City Council.

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Over the past 10 years we have assisted many local companies with projects. The Economic Development Plan has added several hundred jobs to the Columbus area. Many Nebraska communities use these funds for wages, although not in Columbus. The vast majority of funds have been used for building loans, new equipment loans, expansion plans and employee training.

I ask for your support to approve both the Columbus Economic Development Plan (Proposition B) and reallocation of existing city sales tax funds not to exceed $425,000 annually for eight years (Proposition A).

Dave Bell, co-chair

Columbus Economic Council

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