Critical issues of taxes and funding government tend to dominate the agenda at the Unicameral each year.
Gov. Pete Ricketts says some state senators are fixated on raising taxes to offset any cuts to property taxes and want a special session, something he is against.
“Why would we call a special session?” Ricketts asks during an appearance on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KFAB. “That was the whole reason we couldn’t get tax relief done this year is that there is a minority of primarily rural senators who wanted to raise taxes to get tax relief. It doesn’t work that way. That is called a tax shift. That is not tax relief. I don’t really see what the point of a special session would be as long as these senators are focused on raising taxes.”
Ricketts says there is a big focus on property taxes. The ballot proposal is a $1.1 billion tax cut proposal that would provide a refundable income tax credit of 30% for the portion of property taxes which goes to public education.
Ricketts says lawmakers are focusing on property taxes, which are not collected by the state.
The governor asserts the only way you can have sustainable tax relief is by controlling spending.
“Even while we have cut the growth of government by 90%, we are doing a better job. Even though we cut our head count we are doing a better job of providing services because we are leveraging better processes and technology, just like the private sector does,” according to Ricketts. “There is a lot of opportunity for us to find those cost control measurements and to be able to contain our spending in state government which will ultimately allow ourselves to have that tax relief.”