Gov. Pete Ricketts defends his proposal to shift how agricultural property is assessed for property tax purposes, even in the face of criticism coming from some of his natural allies.
Ricketts wants valuations of farmland to be income-based, rather than the current market-based assessment.
“It structurally changes the way we do it to base it on income potential which is going to be much more fair to our ag producers and, frankly, also much more standard across ag states,” Ricketts tells reporters during a news conference.
That approach, though, has been criticized by the Nebraska Farm Bureau as well as a newly-formed organization called Reform for Nebraska’s Future, both filled with Ricketts supporters. A news conference is being held today to call for property tax relief.
Ricketts dismisses suggestions adopting this will end chances for further property tax reform.
“And it is not exclusive to other ideas,” according to Ricketts. “But this is an important step to take to make sure that we tie that ag valuation closely to the income potential, because that is going to be the most fair way to do this.”
This is the 90-day legislatives session in which lawmakers craft a state budget for the next two fiscal years. Legislators have approved $137 million in cuts to the current fiscal year, but have done little else in the first third of the session as a dispute about rules has consumed most of their time.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]