No tax increases – that from Governor Pete Ricketts as he continues to trim the budget to reduce the load on residents. When asked what it would take for him to raise taxes, Governor Ricketts says “nothing”.
“We are a high tax state. We are already taxed too much, said Governor Ricketts. “When it comes to property taxes, USA Today ranks us the 5th highest. The Tax Foundation says on income taxes we are the 14th highest. Overall, our tax burden puts us in the middle of the pack and that is not competitive.”
Governor Ricketts says since taking office he has reduced the growth of government by 90%. He says prior to that the state’s budget grew about 6 1/2% a year and that is now down to 0.6
Governor Ricketts adds even though they are constraining spending they are doing a much better job at providing services. He says they have reduced the time it takes to issue licenses to nurses and medication aids. They have reduced the time it takes to issue construction permits to a better job at answering the phone at Health and Human Services. They also reduced the time it takes to issue tax credits. Governor Ricketts says they are making a better use of technology to make this happen.
Governor Ricketts also plans to go back to the Legislature to see where they can make further budget cuts that will benefit all Nebraskans.