The Nebraska Advantage Act is ten years old and the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce wants lawmakers to review it.
The incentive program has helped create nearly 12,000 jobs over the past decade and $6 billion in capital investments.
But business operations have changed a lot in the past ten years, according to Barry Kennedy, chamber president.
“Now, some of them are needing employees with higher skill sets in some of the technology fields, so those are typically jobs that pay a little higher and need to be incented a little bit differently,” Kennedy tells Nebraska Radio Network.
The State Chamber cites the need for good incentives to offset the higher corporate and individual income taxes Nebraska levies, compared to neighboring states.
“We think that some attention has to be paid to trying to make Nebraska more competitive in just simply having a more favorable tax climate, so that we can attract more people to our state,” he says.
The Chamber also wants lawmakers to strengthen the state’s workforce.
Kennedy says employers in all parts of Nebraska are worried about a lack of skilled workers, ranging from welders to information technology to engineers.
“Most of these business are willing to train them, if they do need training to fill jobs,” he says. “It’s just the need of people.”
Proposed legislation to promote new housing throughout the state also has the support of the Chamber.
“There are some companies that have done some creative things, but most of the companies, the manufacturers – the ones I’ve talked to – have had to do it,” Kennedy says. “Some of them have actually built some apartment houses and that type of stuff, but they really don’t want to be in the housing business.”
Kennedy says they want to see more private sector housing development across Nebraska.
He says the Chamber also supports policies to encourage Nebraska residents to invest in new housing.