Candidates For Governor Hold Forum In Hyannis

All seven candidates for Nebraska governor were in Hyannis Monday night for a forum sponsored by the Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Cattlemen and the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska.

All six Republicans and one Democrat pledged to lower property taxes.

Two candidates have unveiled tax-cut proposals that they'll introduce as state senators, once the Legislature convenes.

Senators Beau McCoy and Charlie Janssen announced their plans Monday, as lawmakers prepare to begin a new session.

Both plans would reduce the taxable value of farm and ranch land to 65 percent of market value, from the current 75 percent. They also would increase funding for the state's property-tax credit program.

Janssen says his bill would cut income tax rates and exempt Social Security and military retirement income from taxation. McCoy says he will work to achieve those goals through bills already introduced in the Legislature.

Four other Republican candidates are running: Omaha businessman Pete Ricketts, State Auditor Mike Foley, state Senator Tom Carlson and Omaha tax attorney Bryan Slone. Democrat Chuck Hassebrook is also running.

Governor Dave Heineman says he's open to endorsing a candidate in Nebraska's crowded Republican primary race for governor.

The Republican governor tells The Associated Press he hasn't made any decision, and he first wants to hear what all six hopefuls have to say on the campaign trail. Heineman says that if he does choose to back a candidate, an announcement wouldn't come until late April or early May. The primary election is on May 13th.

Heineman says he's frequently asked for his opinion by Nebraskans who aren't familiar with the candidates.

Heineman can't run for re-election in 2014 because of term limits.

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