August 21, 2014

Gov. Heineman to unveil sales tax exemptions he would target (AUDIO)

Gov. Dave Heineman has given state lawmakers an overview of his plan to eliminate the state income tax and has traveled the state.

This morning, he plans to unveil details.

The governor has called a news conference in his office at the Capitol to unveil the sales tax exemptions that he would propose to eliminate to pay for his plan to get rid of the state income tax.

Individual income taxes bring in the most money, by far. The state collects $2.095 billion annually in individual income taxes, according to the governor’s office. It collects $270 million in corporate income taxes, for a total of $2.365 billion.

Heineman has insisted that if Nebraska scales back about half the sales tax exemptions it grants, it could eliminate the income tax. The state grants approximately $5 billion in exemptions from the sales tax.

Heineman says the concept captures attention.

“In the travels across the state the last few days I have been very, very encouraged, as I expected,” Heineman tells reporters. “Nebraskans are very smart. They’re very creative. They’re very thoughtful and they’re thinking about this.”

Heineman says his goal is to create a tax structure that makes Nebraska more competitive economically with other states.

AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]