Ricketts understands his efforts to ease the property tax burden on Nebraskans are tempered by a projected $110 million shortfall in the state budget.
“We’re going to have to really work within the confines of the budget, which means that as we look at our agencies, we’ll be doing some belt-tightening just like every Nebraska family does when they see their income go down,” Ricketts tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Ricketts wants the Unicameral to again consider property tax relief as well as other measures to cut taxes. Last year, legislators pumped an extra $120 million into the state property tax relief fund, bringing the total appropriation in the two-year budget to $408 million.
Ricketts says he plans to work closely with the chairs of the Revenue Committee and the Education Committee to see if the reliance of the public school system on property tax revenue could be reduced.
Transportation is another priority of the governor who says the state’s top two industries, agriculture and manufacturing, need a 21st Century infrastructure.
Ricketts says he knows lawmakers better entering this legislation session than he did a year ago, when he began his first legislative session as governor.
And, he says he is excited about getting started.
“I am. I’m eager to get started. We’ve got a lot of great returning senators, some of whom will be in their final year and I’m looking forward to working with them to create those policies that are going to help us grow our state.”
The Unicameral convenes for the first day of the 2016 session at 10 o’clock on January 6.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]