A leading voice of agriculture wants to hear more before taking a stand on whether the state should eliminate the income tax.
Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson is hesitant to support or criticize Gov. Dave Heineman’s proposal to eliminate the individual and the corporate income tax.
The method the governor suggests to offset the loss of revenue to the state might cause more concern for the Farm Bureau than the proposal itself. Individual and corporate income taxes total nearly $2.4 billion annually. The governor proposes eliminating an equivalent amount of sales tax exemptions to offset the loss of revenue to the state.
Sales tax exemptions, according to the governor’s office, total $5 billion annually.
But, farmers benefit from many of those exemptions, such as farm equipment and chemicals.
Nelson tells Ken Anderson with Nebraska Ag News that he looks forward to hearing more of the details of the governor’s proposal and then discussing what’s best for Nebraska and what’s best for agriculture.
“One of the things that has kept Nebraska so strong during the recession that the country has been in is a strong agriculture,” Nelson says. “We’d be very concerned about doing things that might negatively affect the ability of agriculture to continue to be strong and to be the support that it’s been for Nebraska’s economy over the years.”
Nelson says the Farm Bureau has taken a different stance on tax reduction, long advocating lower property taxes.
“Which, over the years, has been a priority for Farm Bureau to consider how much property tax agriculture pays,” Nelson says.
Ken Anderson, Brownfield Ag News, contributed to this story.