State Senator Steve Erdman of Bayard climbed into the lion’s den Thursday as he debated with the North Platte Natural Resources District Board his opposition to a bill that would extend three cents of special taxing authority for the NRD.
John Berge, Executive Director of the North Platte NRD, says the special levy is needed to meet to meet state-required obligations for interstate compacts and other agreements. But Erdman said his opposition to L.B. 98 boils down to property tax relief and he was not persuaded to change his position.
Berge says the NRD has used less than a cent of the taxing authority and it is an additional revenue source to deal with recent state mandates on water flow.
As proposed the special taxing authority would extend to the 2025-26 fiscal year. It is currently set to expire in 2018. Erdman tried to lower the number of years included in the extension last year without success.
NRD Board members said they were most disappointed that while Erdman says he understands their dilemma he didn’t take their side when it came to vote.
The bill will be considered again in the next session.