Suttle unrolls toilet paper tax

Maggie O’Brien|Omaha World Herald

Omaha residents may have use Sheryl Crow's idea of using only one sheet to save money.

Mayor Jim Suttle went to Washington Tuesday flush with ideas for how federal officials could help cities like Omaha pay for multibillion-dollar sewer projects.

Among the items on his brainstorming list: a proposal for a 10-cent federal tax on every roll of toilet paper you buy.

Based on the four-pack price for Charmin double rolls Tuesday at a midtown Hy-Vee, such a tax would add more than 10 percent to the per-roll price, pushing it over a buck.

The idea came from a failed 2009 House measure by an Oregon congressman to help cities and the environment.

“I heard about it and said, ‘Well, this is simple. Let’s put it on the table,’” said Suttle. “It doesn’t mean I endorse it.”

The mayor says Omaha needs help with the metro area’s $1.7 billion bill for federally mandated sewer improvements. The work must be done by 2024.

Suttle talked about the mandate at a Tuesday meeting held by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He didn’t mention the toilet paper tax but said later that he’s open to that and other ways to cover the sewer bill.

“How are we affording this … as we come out of the recession?” he asked

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