A big backer of the failed property tax cut initiative says questions emerged about the proposed ballot initiative, prompting the effort to end, sending the issue back to the legislature.
An effort to place a billion-dollar property tax cut proposal on the November ballot ended abruptly in late April.
The Nebraska Farm Bureau initially backed the proposal and was thought to be the main source of funding for the initiative petition.
President Steve Nelson says too many questions popped up.
“It’s not clear what the outcome would have been,” Nelson tells Nebraska Radio Network. “One of the concerns that was raised all along, was how would the ballot initiative be implemented?”
If the initiative would have gained ballot status and voters would have approved it, it still would have been up to legislators to implement the measure.
Now, the issue reverts to the Unicameral, according to Nelson.
“I continue to want to bring the focus back towards what we can do, and you know this is something that the legislature has the power to solve,” Nelson states.
Nelson says the crux of the issue is how Nebraska funds schools, stating school funding is too heavily reliant on property tax revenue.
Yes to Property Tax Relief stopped its efforts in late April. A spokesman at the time stated doubts remained that a ballot measure would be the best route to address the issue, stating the committee wasn’t convinced the legislature would effectively implement the proposal even if approved by voters.
The Unicameral failed to pass property tax relief in the 2018 legislative session.
The ballot measure proposed to give property owners a refundable income tax credit equal to half of the property taxes collected by their local school district. It would in effect be a 30% cut in property taxes. It would total nearly $1.2 billion.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]