August  2006      Vol. 15, No. 8  REAP HOME PAGE  A publication of the Center for Rural Affairs    
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CREN Members Review Sales & Use Tax

The Crossroads Rural Entrepreneurs Network (CREN) members had sales and use tax questions answered at their July meeting at the Mackey Center in York. Ruth Karlsson of the Nebraska Department of Revenue presented useful information for the small businesses represented. She explained that “Sales tax is a transactional tax. It is imposed on the transaction called the sale rather than the item sold.”

Sales tax is collected by the seller who is acting as an agent for the state. The tax collected by the seller is a trust fund that belongs to the state. Ms. Karlsson stressed that the state is “us,” the 1.7 million residents of Nebraska.

Point of delivery determines the tax rate, not the point of sale. Sales tax is calculated on gross receipts. If your association or business is interested in this topic, please contact Ruth at the Nebraska Department of Revenue. Her email address is or call 402.471.5992. Ruth is an entertaining speaker who wants to assist business owners.

ECSBN Tours Willow Wood Gardens

The East Central Small Business Network is in the process of visiting member businesses. At their July meeting they met at the home based business of members Bruce and Jan Bostelman, owners of Willow Wood Gardens near Loma, Neb.

The Bostelmans grow woody florals, a woody plant species that have colorful or unusual shaped stems, buds, flowers, and fruits or bark that can produce a decorative woody floral product. Flower designers use these products to enhance arrangements and profit margins by adding interesting colors, textures, or form, and increasing height and width. Alternative markets or uses for these materials will include the dried floral market, craft markets, and “high end” interior design uses.

Bruce explained where and how they market to wholesalers and the importance of developing relationships with buyers. Person-to-person visits achieve the best sales. The bulk of sales are made with Nebraska Woody Florals, a non-stock cooperative. The meeting was informative and enjoyed by all.

Entrepreneurial Listening Session in Bridgeport

On August 22, 2006, an Entrepreneurial Listening Session will be held at 9:00 a.m. MST at the Prairie Winds Community Center in Bridgeport, Neb. For more information, contact Connie Hancock with UNL Extension, 308.254.4455 or . Monica Braun, REAP Business Specialist is also knowledgeable about the session.

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