Nebraska legislators adjourned their 90-day session this week without bringing reform to the state’s property tax system.
It’s a big disappointment for members of the Nebraska Cattlemen Association. The group’s Pete McClymont says the state’s current tax system is unfair to livestock producers and farmers.
“Two-thirds of every property tax dollar goes to the state aid to fund education,” McClymont says. “It puts, in our opinion, a very high burden on what people out in the country have to pay.”
McClymont, the vice president of legislative affairs for the cattlemen, says livestock producers have been under a great deal of financial strain from many months.
He blames a combination of factors, including the drought, skyrocketing land prices and rising property taxes, for driving many cattlemen out of business.
“They’re having to sell off cows but their property tax has gone up because of comparable land sales,” McClymont says, “That’s really hard for a rancher to sit there and pay the high property tax when their money-makers, due to the drought, have had to go down the road.”
McClymont says having education funded on the backs of cattle producers and farmers is blatantly unfair.
While legislators failed to pass property tax reform, they did authorize an extensive study to be done during the interim. Lawmakers assure, tax reform will be on the agenda again come January.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton