Gov. Dave Heineman again presses his case that taxes are too high in Nebraska, calling a news conference to encourage state lawmakers to reduce the tax burden during next year’s legislative session.“Taxes are too high in Nebraska,” Heineman tells reporters at the Capitol, “I hear it every day. Property taxes, income taxes and occupation taxes are too high. Nebraska fares very well on general business rankings, but not on tax rankings.”
Heineman says he has been encouraged by the work of the Tax Modernization Committee, which is holding public hearings on the state tax system. Heineman says he hopes that the committee will offer suggestions to lower taxes during next year’s legislative session.
Heineman says the public is making the case that taxes are too high in Nebraska as well.
“Hundreds and hundreds of citizens have already shown up in Scottsbluff, North Platte, and Norfolk and in rural Nebraska, not surprising, they’re concerned about property taxes,” Heineman says. “And, the key there at the end of the day as we got through the remainder of the hearings and then ultimately hopefully to some bill or bills that would get to my desk, it’s a combination of property tax relief and income tax relief.”
The Unicameral formed the Tax Modernization Committee after efforts to eliminate the state income tax in exchange for a reduction in sales tax exemptions failed to gain traction in the past legislative session.
The committee is charged with making a comprehensive review of the state tax system and suggesting changes for the Unicameral to consider during the legislative session next year.
The committee began holding public hearings in Scottsbluff late last month. It also held hearings in North Platte and Norfolk.
The committee will hold a public hearing at Metro Community College, South Omaha Campus on Thursday, October 17th, beginning at 1:30pm.
The final public hearing scheduled by the committee is set for the next day at the State Capitol, Room 1113, beginning at 10am.
Heineman uses a number of charts to illustrate his points, charts that rank Nebraska among the states with the highest income and property tax rates as well as states that tax Social Security benefits and inheritances.
“Our citizens don’t even need the charts,” Heineman says. “They’re writing the checks. They know how high taxes on in this state and they are too high. And this is our opportunity to do something about it.”
AUDIO: Gov. Dave Heineman makes his case on taxes during a news conference at the Capitol. [4 min.]