Sen. Tom Briese of Albion advocates raising other taxes to pay for property tax cuts, an approach Gov. Pete Ricketts won’t consider.
Briese says Nebraska relies too heavily on revenue from property taxes.
“We have to find a way to balance that, to give Nebraskans a fair and balanced tax structure and it ultimately is going to require new revenue,” Briese tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Gov. Ricketts, though, flatly rejects any suggestions to shift the tax burden to bring relief to property owners, insisting the approach isn’t true tax relief.
Briese sponsors Legislative Bill 1084, which would increase sales, tobacco, and other taxes to fund public education, increase the property tax credit cash fund, and place “soft limits” on public school funding to ensure property tax relief.
It never got out of the Revenue Committee. The only package to move to the floor was LB 947, sponsored by Revenue Committee chair, Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion on behalf of Gov. Ricketts.
A last-ditch effort was made to amend the Briese proposal onto another bill sponsored by Sen. Curt Friesen of Henderson, which sought to provide a base of state funding for Nebraska schools.
Friesen is one of the 13 senators requesting a special session on property taxes.
“I supported the special session, because I think if we could focus on something we maybe could come to a conclusion and reach an agreement somewhere, so the ballot initiative could go away,” Friesen tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Overshadowing all of this is the push to place a $1.2 billion property tax cut proposal on the November ballot. Signatures are being gathered in an effort to land the issue on the ballot and let Nebraska voters decide property tax relief.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]