Lawmakers debated bills dealing with sales tax for online retailers, emancipation of minors and how keno revenue would be handled, among other bills.


Online sales tax

A bill to require some online retailers without physical locations in Nebraska to collect and remit sales tax if their gross sales exceed $100,000 a year was debated on March 6 – LB 44. Introduced by Sen. Dan Watermeier of Syracuse, the bill would also require a retailer who does not collect state sales or use tax to notify Nebraska purchasers that the tax is due and to send them a notice by Jan. 31 of each year showing the total amount paid for taxable items.

A penalty of $10,000 could be applied to a retailer who fails to send the notifications. Watermeier filed a motion to invoke cloture ending debate, which succeeded with a vote of 35-8. Senators then voted 34-7 to advance the bill to final reading.


Emancipation for minors

Lawmakers considered a bill on March 7 that would allow certain Nebraska minors to seek emancipation from their parents or legal guardians.

LB 714, introduced by Sen. Sara Howard of Omaha, would allow minors at least 16 years of age to seek legal emancipation. Howard said many teens are able to support themselves and have been doing so for some time, but don’t have the support of an adult to help with things like purchasing a vehicle or opening a checking account.

After a motion for emancipation is filed, a judge would determine if the teen would be able to manage his or her finances and obligations. Parents or legal guardians would have 30 days to file an objection to the petition for emancipation.

Senators advanced the bill to a second round of debate with a 35-0 vote.


Relaxing a keno requirement

A bill that would change how keno revenue is handled in Nebraska was considered on March 7.

LB 724, introduced by Sen. Justin Wayne of Omaha, would allow keno operators to combine keno funds with all other funds.

As it stands now, operators must keep keno funds in separate bank accounts. Under the bill, the state tax commissioner would be able to permit the electronic transfer of keno funds from a sales outlet’s general business account to the bank account of a lottery operator, county, city or village no later than five business days after funds were collected.

Currently funds must be deposited in four business days.

Senators voted 28-0 to advance the bill to the second round of debate.