Gov. Dave Heineman says the legislature missed an opportunity this year by not concentrating on tax reform.
Heineman failed to convince enough lawmakers to accept his version of tax reform this year. The governor proposed eliminating the state income tax; both individual and corporate. In exchange, approximately half the sales tax exemptions granted the state would be eliminated to offset the loss of revenue to the state.
The governor argued that eliminating the state income tax would make Nebraska more attractive to companies, creating more jobs.
The proposal drew strong criticism from a number of angles during legislative hearings. The legislature backed off. Instead, it approved forming a special committee to make a thorough study of the state tax system.
Heineman says that with state revenue improving the legislature should have returned some of the money to tax payers.
“Certainly, the taxpayer I think deserve relief,” Heineman tells reporters during a conference call. “But, I assure you, by the time we reconvene next January the entire focus of that session is going to be about tax relief and tax reform. That’s what they’ve said and I’m certainly going to put that front and center.”
Heineman has criticized the legislature for approving tax breaks for wind energy without providing tax relief for Nebraskans.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]