A coalition of Nebraska groups presses its opposition to Gov. Dave Heineman’s $326.6 million tax cut proposal.
Nebraska State Education Association spokeswoman Nancy Fulton, who teaches at Wilber-Clatonia, told a news conference the tax cut plan threatens the state’s future.
“It’s Valentine’s Day and while LB 970 offers a sweetheart deal for the wealthy, it breaks my heart to think what it would mean to the funding of education to the students of Wilber-Clatonia,” Fulton said during the news conference held in the Capitol rotunda.
The coalition includes AARP, Nebraska Appleseed, Center for Rural Affairs, Lancaster County Board of Commissioners, Nebraska Association of County Officials, Nebraska State Education Association, Open Sky Policy Institute and Voices for Children.
Fulton said the plan would provide little tax relief, but would provide it at a high price.
“The fact is that this tax plan puts vital public services and infrastructure at risk,” she said.
AARP Nebraska Advocacy Director Mark Intermill said more study is needed.
“We have strong reservations about LB 970,” Intermill said. “We would suggest that it be shelved in the current session and that we have a statewide conversation about the priorities of state and local government and how we fund these priorities.”
The coalition charges that the tax plan is weighted toward the wealthy and would rob the state of needed revenue.
The news conference coaxed a response from Gov. Heineman. His office sent an email to the news media after the news conference.
“These liberal interest groups support higher taxes on middle class Nebraskans,” Heineman said in a written statement. “They want to increase government spending while I want to lower taxes for Nebraskans. As I have said repeatedly, the choice is between providing tax relief for hard-working, middle class taxpayers or more spending for special interest groups. I will continue to fight for the taxpayers.”
Heineman asserted his plan will provide broad-based tax relief and will help small businesses grow by lowering the top corporate tax rate to equal the top individual rate. Heineman said the elimination of the inheritance tax would make Nebraska more competitive.
AUDIO: Capitol news conference held by coalition opposing governor’s tax cut plan [13:20]