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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Support for Governor Ricketts’ Property Tax Cuts & Opportunities Act

Governor Pete Ricketts: “This year, the Legislature has an opportunity to deliver major property tax relief for hardworking Nebraskans.  The time is now.  I am very willing to work with this committee and all senators who are genuinely interested in providing the needed tax relief provided by this proposal.”

Senator Jim Smith: “The Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act provides a road map for major property tax relief and reasonable income tax rate reductions to help grow our state.  I appreciate the continued commitment of all senators and groups who are working together to deliver tax relief for Nebraskans this legislative session.”

Department of Economic Development Director Dave Rippe: “Business recruitment between states is highly competitive and the tax rate reductions in LB 947 will help targeted companies create long-term models that demonstrate Nebraska as a top state for conducting business.  We must constantly be innovating to maintain a competitive edge, and our tax policy is a critical strategy to growing our state.”

Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman: “Our farm families need relief now.  This proposal helps solve the problem in a manageable way with major property tax relief stepped up as the economy grows.  LB947 is the best opportunity to bring senators together to do tax relief this session.  It can unite urban and rural.  It fits within the budget.  And it truly delivers tax relief rather than simply shifting taxes around.”

Nebraska Farm Bureau and Major Ag Groups: “I want to thank Senator Smith, Governor Ricketts, and other Senators – including those of you on this committee –  for your ongoing efforts to work towards property tax relief for all Nebraskans.  In short, we are generally supportive of the concepts outlined to amend LB 947 in a manner that would statutorily increase refundable income tax credits for agricultural land and farm and livestock buildings.  Furthermore, our support is contingent upon such refundable income tax credits reaching a tax credit equal to 30% of the total property tax burden over time.”

Nebraska State Chamber and Lincoln Chamber of Commerce: “The Chambers have long supported making the maximum tax rates for individuals and corporations equal, as reflected in LB947.  It is commonly repeated that plus or minus 90% by number of Nebraska businesses report their taxable income to Nebraska through the owners’ individual returns.  The Chambers are also very supportive of the workforce development focus of LB947.  The bill would provide an additional $10 million over two years for job training programs.  Currently, there are no job training dollars available for the state’s key programs, including Intern Nebraska.”

Americans for Prosperity-Nebraska: “During the State of the State address, Governor Ricketts outlined a pathway for meaningful tax reform which would also balance the state budget.  We applaud the Governor’s forward-thinking approach to the state budget that ensures state priorities such as: public safety, transportation infrastructure, workforce development and protection of the state’s most vulnerable are properly funded while simultaneously making the difficult decisions to promote another top priority: relief for Nebraskans who pay some of the highest taxes in the country.”

Platte Institute for Economic Research: “If there’s no significant action in this legislative session, Nebraskans could force a property tax ballot initiative. If it passes, the state would likely be forced to significantly cut spending on services and increase state tax rates at the same time.  LB947 offers a reasonable path to steer the state away from this kind of uncertainty.  It would have the state taking a greater role in property tax relief for Nebraskans in the years ahead, while safeguarding the state budget from unrealistic promises.”

Tax Foundation: “Your neighbors are making their tax codes more competitive.  The federal government has changed the rules of the game. Nebraska’s 1967 tax code is out of date, and its rates are out of line with peer states.  Nebraska has an opportunity to make the tax code more competitive, and LB 947 offers a way forward.  Tax reform isn’t easy, but neither is continuing to operate under a tax system that is falling behind other states.  This committee has an opportunity for a robust debate about tax reform.  It is a challenge worth embracing.

Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce: “Like the Governor and Senator Smith, the Chamber’s number one priority is growing our state.  It is imperative that we look for every opportunity to advance that agenda.  This entails many elements, but certainly that includes a tax policy that fosters growth—one that does not discriminate between business models; one that imposes the reasonably lowest tax rates; one that provides for a competitive business environment in an ever more competitive world.  LB 947 is a good first step in that direction.”

Nebraska Bankers Association: “LB 947 is designed to provide true property tax relief for residential and agricultural property owners.  In addition, the proposed reductions in individual and corporate income tax rates will benefit individuals and businesses, the majority of which operate on a ‘pass-through’ tax basis.  We believe that the combined property and income tax relief proposed under LB 947 will serve to grow our state’s economy and make Nebraska more competitive with surrounding states.”

National Federation of Independent Businesses: “Nebraska, by all measures, is a high-tax state, with only Iowa, from among our bordering states, imposing a higher income tax rate on its citizens.  The current individual income tax rates hinder our long-term ability to expand our economy.  The small business owner members of NFIB also favor a significant and meaningful property tax relief.  We support the provisions of LB 947 which would provide property tax relief to residential and agricultural land owners.”