Gov. Dave Heineman defended his trimmed-down tax cut proposal as legislators continue to raise concerns about it.
Heineman kept pressing for his tax cut proposal, trimmed down to $148 million by the legislature’s Revenue Committee [LB 970]. During a luncheon Wednesday, Heineman told the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce he’s committed to the proposal.
“I’m going to fight like they’ve never seen down there at the Capitol to make sure this occurs,” Heineman stated during his address to the chamber, gathered at the Lincoln Country Club.
Down at the Capitol, legislators remained hesitant.
The Revenue Committee barely mustered the votes necessary to move the proposal to the full body, even after concessions were made to trim the total from $326.6 million to $148 million. The package passed on a 5-3 vote.
Sen. Greg Adams of York was one of the three votes against the proposal. Adams explained his vote during floor debate. He told colleagues he remains worried about how tax cuts will affect the budget in an uncertain future.
“Maybe we have a recession. Maybe we have $5 gasoline. Maybe the farm economy softens and maybe we have more TEOSA (school funding) obligations, just because land values soften. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know,” Adams stated.
The Appropriations Committee projects a $460 million deficit during the next budget cycle. Critics have claimed that adopting the governor’s proposal would deepen the deficit to closer to $600 million. The governor has claimed the projection is too pessimistic.
The discussion in the Unicameral has come during debate on the budget. The tax cut proposal has yet to come to the floor for debate.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]
AUDIO: Governor Heineman addresses tax cut proposal during address to Lincoln Chamber of Commerce [4:20]