Since 2013, smokers in Omaha have been paying an additional three percent tax on their tobacco. While that tax had a sunset clause of 2022, this week the city council decided to extend it indefinitely.
This week, the Omaha City Council removed the sunset date as part of a number of changes that will see a new tax enacted on electronic cigarettes and vaping devices. However, according to a report by Omaha.com, it was not without debate and was something the council had not planned on taking up going into the meeting. There are also remains a debate about what all will be done with the monies raised, a decision that will be left up to the mayor, subject to council approval.
The city’s tax is added before any sales tax is added, and is in addition to the state’s tax rate of 20 percent of the wholesale price.
The council approved the city’s own tobacco tax in 2012 as a way to support construction of the new cancer center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Omaha is home to just over 468,000 residents.