Small Nebraska Town May Raise Taxes To Defend Immigration Law

Re-blogged from The Wonk Room @ Think Progress

Written by Andrea Nill

The Omaha World Herald reports that the Fremont City Council will consider a 2011 budget that includes property tax hikes to help pay for the defense of the city’s recently voter-approved anti-immigrant law which imposes a ban on hiring or renting property to undocumented immigrants in the small community of 25,000 people. Both the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) sued on the basis that the ordinance is discriminatory. Officials have estimated that the cost of implementation, including defending it in court, will average $1 million per year. As a result, Fremont taxpayers are now facing a potential 18 percent increase in property taxes:

A proposed property tax hike to defend Fremont’s controversial immigration law is heading to the City Council. The council at its Aug. 31 meeting will consider a 2011 budget that includes $750,000 to help pay the projected annual cost of defending the voter-approved ordinance. The public will have an opportunity to comment. […]

City Administrator Robert Hartwig said the council most likely will not vote on the proposed 18 percent increase in the city’s portion of the property tax rate until Sept. 14. If approved, the owner of a $200,000 house would pay about $116 more in taxes next year.

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