Farmers and ranchers will see little property tax relief from this legislative session, despite all the talk that started the session.
State lawmakers added $25 million to the property tax credit fund with passage of the $8 billion state budget. It will now stand at $140 million. Not enough legislators voted in favor of adding another $20 million when an amendment was proposed during floor debate on the state budget.
A proposal to lower the assessed valuation of agricultural land for property tax purposes never gained traction during the session. The bill proposed agricultural land be assessed at 65% of its market value, rather than the current 75%.
In wake of hearings held by the Tax Modernization Committee, momentum seemed to gather for a reduction of the property taxes paid by farmers.
Nebraska Farm Bureau First Vice President Mark McHargue says farmers had expected more.
“It’s frustrating from my standpoint as an ag producer that the tax hearings all across the state say that property taxes are too high and we turn around and we just can’t get anything done,” McHargue tells reporters. “So, that’s kind of the frustration out in the country right now.”
The chairman of the legislature’s Revenue Committee says the issue will go under further study before next year’s session.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]