A tense debate and an uncertain outcome led the sponsor of the farmland tax relief bill to strike a compromise.
At one point during legislative debate Thursday, it didn’t look good for Gov. Pete Ricketts’ top priority. Objection after objection was raised, some loudly. Urban lawmakers objected to property tax relief flowing only to farmers and ranchers. Rural lawmakers objected to how farmers and ranchers were being portrayed. Other lawmakers objected to the impact on the state budget.
In the midst of it all stood Sen. Mike Gloor of Grand Island, attempting to find the support needed to move the measure forward.
Did Sen. Gloor ever wonder if he didn’t have the votes?
“Yeah, up until the final vote,” Gloor says with a chuckle. “Well, you know, a cloture vote requires 33.”
In the end, Gloor got 39 votes as the Unicameral advanced LB 958 on a 39-2-5 vote.
The key compromise was a reducing its fiscal impact; dropping the total of property tax relief from $30 million to $20 million.
Still, Gloor couldn’t be sure he had the votes need to get cloture, cutting off debate and going to a vote on the bill.
“There were enough heated comments made it was hard to know if the person you talked to 30 minutes ago was still a yes,” according to Gloor.
Gloor believes the work done on the floor to move his bill could have a spillover effect as the Unicameral enters its final full week.
“So, I think the good thing is it lends itself to not just finishing out the session in a little more productive and positive way, but hopefully some of that will carry over into the next session.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]