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Ag Groups Endorse the Governor's Property Tax Relief Plan

LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts, Revenue Chairman Mike Gloor, and Education Chairwoman Kate Sullivan announced that major groups representing Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers had endorsed their property tax relief package.

“This property tax package provides relief for all Nebraska property owners, and these endorsements underscore the impact the relief provided in this package will have on our state’s family farms and ranches,” said Governor Ricketts.

“We appreciate the support of each of these groups.  Endorsements from the state’s leading ag groups provides confirmation that this is the tax relief Nebraskans need,” said Revenue Chairman Mike Gloor.

“Nebraskans are demanding property tax relief this year, and the support of these groups is a key step in building support for the tax relief package in the Legislature,” said Education Chairwoman Kate Sullivan.  

STATEMENTS FROM ENDORSING GROUPS

“Nebraska ag producers, who represent a full 25 percent of the state's economy, need property tax relief,” said Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson.   “In the last five years, ag property taxes have increased over 100 percent “The bills brought forward by Governor Ricketts and Senators Sullivan and Gloor are an important step in providing structural relief for ag producers as well as residential and commercial property tax payers.”

“To begin the critically important process of property tax reform, controlling ag land gross valuation is a fundamental key,” said Nebraska Cattlemen Executive Vice President Pete McClymont.  “Going forward, ag land tax payers would see valuation capped by a statewide aggregate adjustment.  This is a step in the right direction.  After years of double digit increases, a cap will begin normalizing growth.  Nebraska Cattlemen membership appreciates that Governor Ricketts’ tax plan emphasizes this need.”

“We are pleased the Governor has made property tax relief his top priority this year,” said Nebraska Pork Producers Executive Director Al Juhnke.  “On behalf of the state’s pork producers, we look forward to working with the Governor on his much-needed ag property tax relief package.”

OVERVIEW OF THE GOVERNOR’S TAX PACKAGE

The Governor’s property tax relief package includes a bill introduced by Chairman Gloor to change revenue policy, while Chairwoman Sullivan introduced a bill focused on measured growth in school spending and state aid.  The Governor has said property tax relief is his number one priority for this legislative session.

This two-bill package makes structural changes to how property taxes are levied on residential, commercial, and agricultural property.  Together, the proposals:

  • Tighten current spending limits on all local governments, such as limiting the carryover of unused budget authority to 3 percent.
  • Tighten current levy limits on all local governments by removing exceptions that do not require voter approval, such as exceptions for bonded indebtedness.
  • Control growth within the school funding formula.  For example, Sullivan’s bill limits growth to 5 percent plus student growth for each district’s target funding level, instead of 12 percent and no limit for growing districts.
  • Limit the statewide aggregate increase in the class of agricultural property to 3 percent per year by adjusting the value of agricultural and horticultural land.

The first of two bills contained in this property tax package will be heard in the Revenue Committee this Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 1:30pm.  Nebraskans are invited to attend the hearing and to watch on NET2 or online at www.netnebraska.org/capitol.

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