Nebraska United Coalition will push to adjust the state’s reliance on property tax funding, according to Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen, a member of the coalition.
Hansen says Nebraska farmers and ranchers are increasingly having trouble paying their property tax bill.
“If you’re losing money as we have been the last four years and your tax bill continues to go up, something is wrong,” Hansen tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate WNAX. “So, as we look at this, we have incrementally shifted about $1.2 billion from income and sales tax to property since 1998.”
Hansen acknowledges that for governments in Nebraska to rely less on property taxes there will have to be an adjustment or a re-alignment of the tax burden; a shift back to more reliance on income and sales tax receipts to fund programs.
“We are 49th in the nation in the amount of income and sales (tax receipts) that we use to fund K-12 education and we’re in the top five states relative to the total amount of property taxes we pay,” Hansen says. “We’re the highest property tax paying state west of the state of New York.”
Hansen points out the property tax bill comes due to farmers and ranchers, whether they make money or not, or even if they lose money.
Hansen says the coalition will look to the legislature to address the problem, but will also consider legal action and even an initiative petition to resolve the issue.
Jerry Oster, WNAX, contributed to this article.