Nebraska voters enacted a constitutional amendment in November 1990, granting cities and villages the power to use local sources of revenue for economic or industrial projects and programs. In 1991, the Unicameral implemented this amendment with the passage of Legislative Bill 840, the Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act.
The Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act is based on the premise that communities, including Callaway, should use their own tax dollars in ways that best meet local needs. While ongoing planning processes in many towns have identified development, job creation, and increased economic opportunity as their highest priority for the future, a variety of constitutional and legislative prohibitions kept them from investing local public funds in development programs.
The removal of these limitations has provided municipalities greater latitude in determining and acting upon local needs.
As towns have witnessed population declines and a loss of younger people, they have thought about their future and the types of actions and investments needed to reverse these past trends. At the same time smaller towns and cities began to realize a period of significant opportunity. In a period of uncertainty, complexity, and growing concern about the problems and quality of urban life, including cost and relative safety, the advantages offered by small cities have become uniquely attractive.
At the same time the revolution in information and communication technology as well as goods distribution has reduced the isolation of small towns. As a result, it is increasingly possible to operate a significant business in growth areas outside of major urban centers.