Gov. Pete Ricketts gave a pointed response to legislators who proposed a shift in taxes to provide property tax relief.
Ricketts, in his address to the Unicameral on the last day of the session, flatly rejected a proposal floated during the session: an increase in one tax, such as the sales tax, to lower the property tax burden.
“Folks, we cannot tax one Nebraskan to give another Nebraskan tax relief,” Ricketts told legislators. “That’s not tax relief. Tax relief is controlling our spending and putting more money back into the pockets of hard-working Nebraskans.”
A last-ditch effort to reach a compromise on a property tax relief package this legislation session ran aground when some senators suggested a shift in taxes to offset a drop in the property tax burden. One bill called for an increase in the sales tax as well as the cigarette tax.
Ricketts reiterated his stance during the post-address news conference.
“It should come as a surprise to no one that I’m not going to support tax increases and that goes for anybody who wants to raise the tax on one Nebraskan to give tax relief to another Nebraskan,” Ricketts told reporters. “That does not work. That’s not real tax relief.”
Ricketts proposed phased-in property tax relief along with a drop in the corporate income tax. Legislative Bill 947 faced a filibuster during legislative debate and didn’t even get to a cloture vote this session. Other proposals languished in committee.
Efforts to lower property taxes failed this legislative session.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]