The Nebraska Farm Bureau is backing four bills introduced this legislative session that would lower property taxes for agriculture and ranch land. President Steve Nelson says the property tax burden has skyrocketed over the last 10 years and agriculture landowners are shouldering that burden.
Nelson says, “The pieces necessary to provide a foundation for meaningful property tax relief have been introduced for consideration in the Legislature and we are very appreciative of those who have introduced those bills and of others who have brought ideas to the table.”
The bills include:
LB 178 – Introduced by Sen. Dan Watermeier of Syracuse, the bill reduces the level of taxable value for agricultural land for school taxation purposes. The measure would lower the taxable value from 75 percent of market to 55 percent of market over a four year period, with similar adjustments being made in the calculation of state aid to schools.
LB 350 – Introduced by Sen. Lydia Brasch of Bancroft, the bill would reduce the value of agricultural land from 75 percent of market value to 65 percent of value for taxation purposes.
LB 351 – Introduced by Sen. Lydia Brasch of Bancroft, the bill would send 20 percent of the state income taxes collected in a local school district, back to the district for school funding purposes. Current state law calls for 12 percent of income taxes collected locally to be returned to the district. The bill also removes the minimum levy penalty in the state aid to schools formula that penalizes districts for having lower tax levies.
LB 364 – Introduced by Sen. Dan Watermeier of Syracuse, the bill would allocate an additional $60 million per year for the next two years to the state’s Property Tax Credit Program. The program provides direct relief to all Nebraskans who pay property taxes.
The Nebraska Farm Bureau reports that farm and ranch land owners in Nebraska account for less than three-percent of the state’s population but pay nearly 30% of the total property taxes collected statewide. Nebraska farm and ranch families now pay the third highest property taxes in the country. Only agriculture land owners in California and Texas pay more in property taxes.