Farm Bureau senior economist Jay Rempe says the only way to truly reduce property taxes in Nebraska is to reduce how much school district budgets rely on property taxes. The Farm Bureau proposes capping the amount of property taxes school districts collect at 40% of their general fund expenditures.
“Right now, as a state, we’re somewhere around 55-57%,” Rempe tells Brownfield Ag News. “So, a long-term goal would be in each school district to cap property taxes at 40% of school spending.”
Rempe says the Farm Bureau hopes to begin a discussion with state lawmakers on a long-term plan to reduce the reliance on property taxes to fund schools. It’s a big issue to tackle in one 60-day legislative session.
“Think there’s going to be a lot of focus this session on the spending restraint side of things which needs to be done and we’re fully supportive of that and also looking at some of the evaluation ways to maybe limit the evaluation growth and things, but also we want to try to set the track for a long-term discussion about how do we reduce the amount of property taxes we use to fund schools,” Rempe says.
Rempe calls the 40% figure “a long-term target” that they are discussing with state legislators which would put Nebraska more in line with other states.
Ken Anderson, Brownfield Ag News, contributed to this story.