The measure, LB 947, is by carried by Senator Jim Smith of Papillion for Governor Pete Ricketts.
The center’s Jordan Rasmussen says the measure doesn’t meet the goal of properly achieving property tax relief.
“It’s combining both the property tax relief piece of it with an income tax cut which the income tax cut almost overshadows the actual property tax side of things,” she says, “which is where we continue to talk about the need for property tax relief and how terribly rural Nebraska is hurting.”
She says the other problem with the bill is that it doesn’t balance Nebraska’s current tax system.
Rasmussen says, “By putting an income tax cut along with the property tax cut, we’re further decreasing our revenue and it doesn’t provide the structural change that’s needed in order for there to become a more balanced tax system in the state of Nebraska.”
The Lyons-based center is backing an alternative property tax bill, LB 1084, offered by Senator Tom Briese of Albion.
“We are in support of 1084 because it addresses the ‘pay fors’ that are needed in order to bring about the property tax relief,” she says. “It’s about bringing better balance to the tax system instead of continuing to cut and addressing how that will impact the budget and those services that the budget pays for.”
Rasmussen says another problem with the first bill, LB 947, is that it ties the hands of future leaders to not be able to provide flexibility when there’s a recession or another change in revenue for the state.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton