Beatrice Six

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A Nebraska county that owes more than $30 million to six people wrongfully convicted of murder has approved a new half-cent sales tax to help pay the legal judgment.

The Gage County Board of Supervisors voted 7-0 on Wednesday to impose the sales tax, which will generate an additional $1.3 million annually to cover the county's debt.

The wrongfully convicted, known as the Beatrice Six, spent more than 70 years in prison for a 1985 rape and murder in Beatrice before DNA evidence exonerated them in 2008.

Gage County has already raised its property tax as high as legally allowed and has started making payments, but county officials say relying on property taxes alone isn't fair to farmers and homeowners who pay a much larger share than other residents.

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