Nebraska’s Platte Institute for Economic Research is reviewing this past legislative session and Executive Director Jim Vokal says the repeal of the death penalty, prison reform and driver’s licenses for children of illegal immigrants took front and center but it is frustrating serious tax relief and education reform didn’t happen.
Vokal says Nebraska has the highest income and property taxes from North Dakota to Texas and it is concerning that lawmakers didn’t do more to help the hard working people of the state.
Vokal says key tax reform bills never made it to the legislative floor. Regarding the Revenue Committee, Vokal says, “It is composed of unfortunately a majority of folks that support the lobbyists rather than the average citizens of Nebraska. They don’t believe in reform. They want to grow government. They want to protect the revenue streams and actually increase them so when you look at taxes they don’t believe we need tax reform.”
When it comes to education reform, Vokal says, “The Education Committee likes to protect the unions and unfortunately reforms that we are seeing across the country when it comes to education choice, whether it is tax credit scholarships, charter schools, education saving’s accounts, they aren’t going to buy into it until we get a different composition on those two committees.”
Vokal says communities and citizens need to do a better job to out power these lobbyists that lawmakers see on an hourly basis.