It’s a good problem to have — Nebraska lawmakers will have to decide what to do with a growing budget surplus. Forecasts indicate there could be more than 400-million dollars in the so-called “rainy day fund” at the end of the year.
Senator Joel Johnson of Kearney says rebating the tax dollars may not be the best move for local governments. Johnson says, “The biggest problem I have with the state giving money back is when you do that, then there is no incentive for the local governments to be more prudent in how they spend the local people’s money because somebody else is going to come to the rescue and bail them out.”
Johnson says taxpayers have to keep an eye on local government budgets. “Make sure that they money that your local government votes for you to spend, let’s make sure that they need it,” he says. Johnson says that surplus could be better used to benefit all Nebraskans. “I would’ve taken the money, if I were king,” he laughs, “and put it to road construction. There, you improve infrastructure and you grow the state.”
Johnson is term-limited and won’t get a chance to vote on the surplus.
Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton