A state legislator says he’s introducing legislation to bring both property tax relief and a boost in the state sales tax.
Senator Tom Briese of Boone says there are two bills in his package.
“One bill calls for a one-cent increase in the state sales tax rate,” Briese says. “To accomplish that, the other bill calls for an expansion of the sales tax base, bringing in more goods and services. Each bill diverts some money back to low-income individuals with the balance going to a property tax credit fund.”
Briese says the ultimate goal of his legislation is to even out the tax burden.
“My bills are there to achieve property tax relief for all Nebraskans,” he says. “They’re simply an effort to provide more fairness and balance in our tax structure and to deliver the property tax relief all Nebraskans deserve.”
Governor Pete Ricketts has said he will not support any tax increase in this session, but Briese argues that his bills are not tax increases.
“Mine is a shifting of the tax burden to provide fairness and balance,” he says. “I don’t agree that mine is a tax increase, because I don’t support tax increases either. This is simply a shifting of the burden.”
With property taxes making up about 48% of all taxes in the state, many senators say sales and income taxes may have to rise to offset any property tax cut.
Lawmakers are dealing with potential billion-dollar shortfall in the two-year budget as they attempt to balance the budget.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton