The Unicameral will soon debate tax relief legislation and one measure would bring state income tax relief but little relief from property taxes, which is a big worry for several farm groups.
Ansley Mick, government relations director for the Nebraska Farm Bureau, says it’s disappointing there’s not much in LB-461 to target property taxes.
“I know at one point, Senator Watermeier said, ‘This has to be 10-to-1 property taxes to income taxes or it’s not going anywhere’,” Mick says. “He’s been pretty strong about that and we have a lot of allies that have been really strong about that. Unfortunately, 461 is 10-to-1 income to property.”
Mick says some senators, along with Governor Pete Ricketts, are focused on income tax relief due to its impact on economic development. Mick says reducing property taxes could be more beneficial.
She says Nebraska’s property taxes are the 5th or 7th highest in the nation, depending on which rankings are used. Mick says property taxes are a disincentive to economic development.
“That’s the one that’s suffocating people right now and that’s what we hear about,” Mick says. “It’s disappointing to see these numbers. We’re all for improving the tax climate in good years. We want to be able to lower income taxes. We want to be able to help folks out on all of those fronts but there’s one priority when you travel the state and when you talk to folks. It’s clear what they’re asking for.”
Mick says her group will work with other organizations to try and convince senators to include more property tax relief in the legislation.
“Farm Bureau is part of a number of coalitions and we also have the agriculture leaders working group that we’ll be working with,” Mick says. “We are willing to sit down and try to make these bills better and get a win.”
Mick says LB-461 is up for full Senate debate on April 21st.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton