A coalition has formed to oppose a $369 million bond issue affecting 15 counties in southeast Nebraska.
State Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete says the coalition doesn’t want to be critical of Southeast Community College, but opposes its expansion proposal.
“Nobody here undervalues the role that our community colleges play,” Ebke tells reporters at a news conference on the Capitol steps. “However, I think that it is bordering on tone deaf not to understand the concerns that we have with respect to property taxes today and I think that it is incumbent on all taxing authorities to listen to what our citizens are saying.”
Southeast Community College proposes to use funds from the General Obligation bonds to improve its three campuses in Lincoln, Beatrice, and Milford. It also would use funds to expand its offerings directly to the communities of York, Hebron, Wahoo, Plattsmouth, Falls City, and Nebraska City.
The proposal would increase the property tax levy by 3.9 cents per every $100 assessed valuation in SCC’s 15-county service area.
It will be decided by voters November 8th.
Sterling farmer Terry Keebler, a member of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Board of Directors, says property taxes are taking too much of a bite out of farm budgets.
“One of the largest costs of production today in agriculture is property tax,” according to Keebler. “Farmer’s property tax bills are now comparable to what we pay for seed and fertilizer.”
Other groups opposing the bond proposal include the Lincoln Independent Business Association, Nebraska Cattlemen, and the Nebraska Soybean Association.