Among the first bills scheduled for debate today as state lawmakers return from Easter Break will be the tax cut proposal backed by Governor Pete Ricketts.
It faces a filibuster. A similar proposal from the governor couldn’t overcome a filibuster last session.
Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill, who sits on the Revenue Committee, says he’ll support the bill which would cut property and income taxes.
“It’s a balance between urban and rural,” Larson says. “Obviously, as a rural senator, I do wish there had been more on property taxes but essentially, that one isn’t going to garner enough votes to get any of the urban senators completely on board. Whether or not it has the votes to break a filibuster, I don’t know.”
The bill would need 33 votes to overcome the filibuster and advance to the second round.
LB 947 has undergone a number of changes through the process prior to the Revenue Committee voting it out of committee onto the floor for debate.
Larson says compromises adding income tax cuts were needed to get the bill out of committee.
“It wasn’t going to come out of committee unless we compromised and brought in some of the urban stuff with the income taxes,” he says, “which obviously takes a bite out of property taxes but it was either some progress or no progress.”
Larson says most of the property tax increases can be blamed on county budgets.
“I’ve had issues with counties in the past in terms of when you have valuations continuing to rise at the level they have but they haven’t lowered their levies, which means their budgets have been skyrocketing,” Larson says. “They should be lowering their levy and they should be lowering their levy significantly the way the valuations have continued to rise.”
Opponents claim the bill would drastically cut state revenues, leading to major spending cuts.
This version has been edited to clarify LB 947 is coming up for debate.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton