A forum on property taxes held this week in Norfolk outlined the problem but provided no answers.
State Senator Tom Briese of Albion says more than a-hundred people attended the event and many expressed frustration at the lack of action by the Unicameral.
“The legislature hasn’t accomplished much on the property tax front and it’s very disappointing to me that we haven’t and we’ll continue to try,” Briese says. “There was quite a bit of sentiment that the public needs to take it into their own hands because of the inaction of the legislature.”
Briese says several possible solutions are being discussed.
“They were throwing out some ideas about other avenues toward property tax relief,” Briese says. “I think they, too, feel the frustration that I do in the inability of the legislature to put together 33 votes to do anything meaningful.”
Briese says it will take additional taxes somewhere else to roll back property taxes.
“The only route to meaningful, substantial and responsible property tax relief, property tax reform, is finding new revenue to replace property taxes,” Briese says. “That is always an option and should be the first option but it’s a difficult task to get the numbers needed to do that.”
Briese says he will again introduce a bill in the 2019 legislative session to raise sales taxes to offset property taxes. He says he would also support a constitutional amendment on property taxes.
The group Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom is launching a petition drive to put a constitutional amendment on the 2020 ballot that would bring property tax relief through tax rebates.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton