A prominent Nebraska economist insists property taxes are not a state issue.
He does have a proposal to limit the ups and downs of the property tax.
Economist Ernie Goss with Creighton University says tax talk at the legislature needs an adjustment. He says the Unicameral should not be talking about lowering property tax rates, because property taxes are not a state issue.
“They’re not,” Goss responds. “The property taxes are a function of local spending.”
Goss points out property tax rates are set at the local level within limits established by the state. He says trying to lower property taxes by adjusting those limits hasn’t worked in Nebraska.
“If you look at the state aid to local (governmental) units, there’s so much instability there, so much up and down,” according to Goss. “That’s not an effective way of administering or at least adjusting property taxes at the state level. It just doesn’t work.”
Goss says the Unicameral should leave the property tax issue alone. He says efforts at the state Capitol to effect property taxes have been inconsistent; driving rates down only to allow them to go back up.
Goss proposes tying the growth in state aid to local governments to the growth in inflation, plus the growth in population. He says that would provide stability to property tax payers.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]