The Speaker of the Legislature says property tax relief proposals will be fully considered in the upcoming, short legislative session.
The Unicameral begins a 60-day legislative session January 6th. Property taxes, a big issue in the last legislative session, remains a big issue in the upcoming session. Gov. Pete Ricketts has called it his top priority for the session, giving no specifics as to what proposal he might back.
Legislative Speaker Galen Hadley of Kearney says a number of ideas have been proposed to reduce the tax burden on Nebraska property owners.
“So, I think each of these ideas will be vetted in our committee system and the good ideas will reach the floor to be debated by the full body,” Hadley tells reporters during a news conference.
Hadley won’t show is hand, declining to say if he favors one proposal over the others.
Yet, Hadley provides a hint, agreeing that adding funds to the Property Tax Credit Relief Fund could be the easiest way for the state to provide property tax relief.
“You know, you’re not going to take anything off the table, but people who pay in get back a portion of their taxes back. I think that’s a very fair way to do it.”
Hadley and other legislative leaders struggle with one big issue concerning property taxes: how to fund public schools. Nebraska school districts rely heavily on the property tax to finance their operations. Any reduction of property taxes, such as the proposal to reduce the rate at which farmland is assessed, would affect the schools. Hadley says property tax relief is linked directly with school funding.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]