LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts is uniting major farm and business groups behind his tax package, despite continued uncertainty over its prospects in the Legislature.
Ricketts argued Monday that the bill offers the property tax relief that many farm, ranch and home owners have demanded.
The Nebraska Farm Bureau says that if the measure passes in this year’s session, it will withdraw its support from a campaign to place a property tax measure on the November general-election ballot.
The Nebraska Farm Bureau has been a major supporter of the campaign. Ricketts has said the ballot measure would cause major disruptions in state government, requiring large cuts or massive tax increases.
Sen. Paul Schumacher, of Columbus, a critic of the bill, says it would “spend money we don’t have.”
Below are comments from Nebraska leaders regarding LB 947:
Governor Pete Ricketts: “Nebraska’s farmers, ranchers, homeowners, and businesses are hurting from the burden of high taxes. Today, agricultural and urban interests are uniting to urge Senators to come together and pass LB 947, so Nebraskans can get the tax relief they need this year. We look forward to working with Senators to pass the Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act in the final days of the legislative session.”
Revenue Committee Chair Jim Smith: “Thank you to agriculture and business interests for their leadership and their willingness to work together for the well-being of all Nebraskans. I continue to believe that the path to success is narrow, but that our hard work and cooperation on LB 947 is critical to the image and to the future of our state.”
Americans for Prosperity-Nebraska State Director Jessica Shelburn: “Senators have a critical opportunity to set aside their differences and work together to provide Nebraskans with some much needed tax relief and growth for our state. The benefits Nebraskans will see from this bill are above politics, and we shouldn’t delay in sending this tax reform package to Governor Ricketts’ desk. AFP-Nebraska applauds the Revenue Committee for putting Nebraskans first and advancing the Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act. ”
Greater Omaha Chamber President David Brown: “Making ongoing investments in workforce development and business tax relief will make Nebraska a more attractive state for the kinds of businesses we’re working to recruit and retain. We appreciate Governor Ricketts and Senator Smith’s work on this package, and urge Senators to get tax relief done before session concludes.”
Lincoln Chamber of Commerce President Wendy Birdsall: “Our future growth is dependent on Nebraska’s ability to compete on a national and global stage. LB 947 will help Nebraska maintain our competitive edge and deliver new tools to attract and retain opportunities. The Lincoln Chamber looks forward to working with Senators in the Legislature to deliver LB 947 to the Governor’s desk by the end of session.”
National Federation of Independent Businesses Nebraska State Director Bob Hallstrom: “The small business owner members of NFIB favor significant and meaningful property tax relief. NFIB supports the provisions of LB 947 which would provide property tax relief to residential and agricultural land owners and the proposed reductions in corporate income tax rates which will spur economic growth.”
Nebraska Bankers Association President Richard Baier: “LB 947 is designed to provide true property tax relief for residential and agricultural property owners. In addition, the proposed reductions in corporate income tax rates will benefit businesses. We believe that the combined property tax and corporate income tax relief proposed under LB 947 will serve to grow our state’s economy and make Nebraska more competitive with surrounding states.”
Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson: “LB 947 as advanced from the Revenue Committee moves in a direction that addresses many of our organization’s goals for property tax. Those goals include a property tax solution that is significant, providing between $600 million and $1 billion in property tax relief, one that puts us on a path for long-term relief for all property tax payers, and one that provides relief as soon as possible. LB 947 meets these objectives.”
Nebraska State Dairy Association Bill Thiele: “Thank you to Governor Ricketts for helping pave the way to tax relief with LB 947. If passed by the Legislature, these much-needed cuts are coming at a critical moment for Nebraska agriculture. On behalf of Nebraska’s dairy farmers, we urge Senators to send LB 947 to the Governor’s desk.”
Nebraska Pork Producers Vice President Kevin Peterson: “The farm and ranch families of Nebraska have been asking for tax relief, and LB 947 will help deliver that relief. We hope that the Legislature does the right thing and pass the Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act to keep agriculture strong.”
Nebraska Soybean Association President Robert Johnston: “Governor Ricketts has listened to the call for property tax relief, which LB 947 seeks to deliver. This bill promises real relief for Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers, and we look forward to working with the Governor to make the case to Senators to pass LB 947.”
Nebraska State Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Barry Kennedy: “LB 947 gives Nebraska businesses and job creators tax certainty and relief that they need to grow into the future. We look forward to working with legislators to get this proposal to the Governor’s desk before session ends.”
Platte Institute for Economic Research Director of Government Relations Nicole Fox: “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 Senior Policy Analyst Jared Walczak: “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.
PREVIOUS SUPPORT FROM SENATORS AND CABINET DIRECTORS
Agriculture Committee Chair Lydia Brasch: “Nebraska’s farm families need property tax relief now. Today, the Revenue Committee took a significant step towards making that a reality by advancing the Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act. I urge my colleagues to step up and commit to getting this property tax relief passed this session.”
Education Committee Chair Mike Groene: “Nebraskans are demanding property tax relief while the Legislature has been talking about it. Today’s vote to move the Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act forward means the entire Legislature has the opportunity to discuss and address our high tax property problem this session. We must tackle this problem – Nebraskans are running out of time.”
General Affairs Committee Chair Tyson Larson: “Doing property tax relief is at the top of the list of priorities for Nebraska families, and today’s decision to advance LB 947 ensures that the entire Legislature will vote up or down on this issue. I urge Nebraskans who want to see property tax relief to contact their senators now and make their voices heard.”
Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee Chair Brett Lindstrom: “Tax relief is critical to growing our communities and putting more money back in the pockets of our families. I appreciate the commitment of my colleagues to making tax relief a priority. I am hopeful that urban and rural senators will come together on the floor and do the right thing for taxpayers by passing LB 947.”
Lt. Governor Mike Foley: “Governor Ricketts has been working with Senators relentlessly to deliver tax relief. The Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act contains major tax relief for farmers, ranchers, homeowners, and job creators. I urge Senators to seize this opportunity and to work to get this to the Governor’s desk before session concludes in the next few weeks.”
Agriculture Director Steve Wellman: “The governor’s proposal, the Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act (LB 947), provides an opportunity for rural and urban senators to work together to deliver major, responsible relief that fits within the budget. I urge senators to work together and get property tax relief done through LB 947 this session, so our farm families get the relief they need this year.”
Economic Development Director Dave Rippe: “To remain competitive, Nebraska must improve our tax climate. The Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act achieves that by delivering major property tax relief and providing the first business income tax rate reduction in a generation. This would be a significant win for the economic development community and everyone working to grow Nebraska.”
Tax Commissioner Tony Fulton: “The Governor and Revenue Committee have demonstrated a great commitment in time and effort towards delivering major tax relief. We look forward to working with the entire Legislature to pass the Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act and get major tax relief done for Nebraskans.”