Nebraska Farm Bureau leaders are disappointed by Wednesday’s decision by the Unicameral’s Revenue Committee to not advance a measure decreasing ag land valuations.
The Farm Bureau had supported a bill that would have lowered the valuation of agricultural land from 75% to 65%. Bureau president Steve Nelson says property taxes have risen dramatically in the past ten years — as high as 160% in some cases.
“Even though we’re seeing land prices flatten out, that valuation growth will probably continue at least for another year because of the way the system works,” Nelson says. “Farmers and ranchers are really being hard hit by the cost of funding education in Nebraska.”
Nelson says senators need to find a more balanced way to determine how to divide the tax burden.
“The way that we get to a better solution to the problem is to take a look at how we fund education in the state,” Nelson says. “We’ve talked about that. That’s the next step, the next goal that we want to work on in relation to dealing with the property tax issue. Nothing has changed from that perspective.”
Nelson says his group will keep working with the Unicameral to try and find an ag land valuation solution.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton