State officials hope a simple step will make Nebraska more retiree-friendly, but they acknowledge more must be done.
Gov. Pete Ricketts has signed Legislative Bill 738 into law.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Brett Lindstrom of Omaha, indexes Social Security benefits to inflation. Lindstrom says too often Nebraskans retire, then move.
“I think it’s important, especially where interest rates are, and at the federal level not doing a COLA adjustment, cost-of-living adjustment, that we do our part as Nebraskans and keep those folks here,” Lindstrom tells reporters during the signing ceremony.
Lindstrom says retirees provide immeasurable benefits to their local communities and shouldn’t be lost due to the state tax system. Lindstrom points out Nebraska is one of a handful of states which tax Social Security income.
Gov. Ricketts agrees Nebraska must work to retain more retirees.
“I think that this bill, indexing it, is an important step forward, but over time we’re going to have to look at what are we doing to be competitive to attract those retirees here,” according to Ricketts.
High property taxes are also sited as a barrier to Nebraska becoming a friendly state in which to retire.
Ricketts says Nebraska does offer access to excellent health care and a quality of life attractive to those entering retirement.
But, are older Nebraskans really leaving because of the state tax system?
The governor has a simple answer.
“I think there are retirees that are leaving the state because of our tax system, yes.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]