Wooing conservative, rural senators might well be the key as Gov. Pete Ricketts searches for the votes he needs to pass his tax relief package.
Ricketts says he is working the phones, trying to get the votes he needs.
“It’s a big bill. It’s significant. We’re going to have a lot of work to do to make sure that we can overcome a potential filibuster,” Ricketts tells reporters during a news conference in the Capitol Rotunda on the eve of legislative debate.
Ricketts wants to change the valuation formula for farmland and lower the top income tax rate.
“This is significant tax relief, both property tax relief and income tax relief,” according to Ricketts.
Yet, Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson says its unbalanced tax relief.
“About three-fourths of the bill would go to fund income tax relief and about a fourth would go toward property tax relief,” Nelson tells Brownfield Ag News. “We believe that those numbers need to be flipped as a starting point, actually.”
Legislative Bill 461 is scheduled to be debated today. It might be just the beginning of debate. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion, would change the valuation formula for agricultural land, basing the valuation on the income potential of the land rather than the current market-based formula.
LB 461 would also bring down the top state income tax rate from the current 6.84% rate to 5.99% over a number of years. It would go into effect only in fiscal years in which state revenue is projected to grow by at least 3 ½%.
The measure is sure to face a filibuster in the Unicameral. Smith will have to get 33 votes to break the filibuster and go to a vote on his bill.
Ken Anderson, Brownfield Ag News, contributed to this story.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]