Nebraska Revised Statute 16-205
License or occupation tax; power to levy; exceptions.
A city of the first class may raise revenue by levying and collecting a license or occupation tax on any person, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, or business within the limits of the city and may regulate the same by ordinance. After March 27, 2014, any occupation tax imposed pursuant to this section shall make a reasonable classification of businesses, users of space, or kinds of transactions for purposes of imposing such tax, except that no occupation tax shall be imposed on any transaction which is subject to tax under section 53-160, 66-489, 66-489.02, 66-4,140, 66-4,145, 66-4,146, 77-2602, or 77-4008 or which is exempt from tax under section 77-2704.24. The occupation tax shall be imposed in the manner provided in section 18-1208, except that section 18-1208 does not apply to an occupation tax subject to section 86-704. All such taxes shall be uniform in respect to the class upon which they are imposed. All scientific and literary lectures and entertainments shall be exempt from such taxation as well as concerts and all other musical entertainments given exclusively by the citizens of the city.
City of the first class may impose an excise, license, or occupation tax upon a given class of business, when such tax is definite, reasonable, and uniform. Gooch Food Products Co. v. Rothman, 131 Neb. 523, 268 N.W. 468 (1936).
City by ordinance may levy and collect an occupation tax from a telegraph company though part of its business is interstate, and such tax is not measured by the profits thereof. City of Grand Island v. Postal Telegraph Cable Co., 92 Neb. 253, 138 N.W. 169 (1912).
A property tax, based upon the value of a corporate franchise, and an occupation tax based upon gross earning of such company, are in nowise identical and do not constitute double taxation. Lincoln Traction Co. v. City of Lincoln, 84 Neb. 327, 121 N.W. 435 (1909).
Where a city ordinance imposes an occupation tax, and provides a special means of enforcing it, such method is generally exclusive, and if the only method is illegal, the ordinance as a whole is inoperative as the courts will not substitute a different and legal method of enforcement. City of Omaha v. Harmon, 58 Neb. 339, 78 N.W. 623 (1899).
Under prior act an ordinance for an occupation tax on a telegraph company doing both inter and intrastate business from within the city is valid and will be presumed to be a tax on that part of such business, as is intrastate, unless the act imposes such tax on the gross income. Western Union Telegraph Co. v. City of Fremont, 39 Neb. 692, 58 N.W. 415, 26 L.R.A. 698 (1894).
Statutory provision authorizing cities to levy and collect occupation taxes is not repugnant to the Constitution, and while a provision making it a misdemeanor to conduct business, without first obtaining a license, and declaring a penalty or imprisonment, for such failure, is void, yet so much of the theory as fixes a civil liability is unaffected and valid. Templeton v. City of Tekamah, 32 Neb. 542, 49 N.W. 373 (1891).
The levy and collection of an occupation tax are not repugnant to the terms of the Constitution. Magneau v. City of Fremont, 30 Neb. 843, 47 N.W. 280 (1890), 9 L.R.A. 786 (1890), 27 A.S.R. 436 (1890).
Cities and villages may impose an occupation tax on liquor dealers, but a municipality may not make payment of such tax a condition precedent to the issuance of a license. State ex rel. Sage v. Bennett, 19 Neb. 191, 26 N.W. 714 (1886).